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Fugitive from Nevada prison back in court

A man arrested after a high-speed chase through Grass Valley Wednesday morning was in court Monday to face charges of felony evasion of a peace officer, being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm and transporting methamphetamine.

Christopher Lee Lang, 54, was arraigned Friday on charges of being a fugitive from a Nevada prison.

Lang was in Nevada County Superior Court Monday and was appointed a public defender; he has not yet entered a plea, In addition to the three felony charges, he also faces allegations of two prior convictions for sales and transportation of controlled substances.



He will return to court Nov. 8 and remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The saga began when Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies received information that a man living in a Grass Valley apartment complex was Glen Stewart Godwin, a convicted murderer who had escaped from Folsom Prison 25 years ago. Godwin has been on the FBI’s 10-most-wanted list since 1996.




The Grass Valley resident had showed a gun to an informant and said he had escaped from Folsom in 1980, said Sheriff Keith Royal, who noted that Lang bore a remarkable resemblance to an age-progressed image of Godwin. Deputies received a vehicle description and began staking out the apartment complex, Royal said.

Wednesday morning, a deputy heading up to the San Juan Ridge spotted the suspect vehicle heading south on Highway 49. Other deputies attempted to stop the vehicle on Highway 49, but instead, a chase ensued past Nevada Union High School on Ridge Road, down Rough and Ready Highway and onto Bitney Springs Road.

The suspect pulled into a driveway and jumped out of the vehicle in an attempt to flee, Royal said.

“Deputies saw a bulge in the back of his pants they believed to be a weapon,” he said.

The man allegedly ran then fell, at some point reaching around toward his waistband.

A sheriff’s deputy fired one shot, which did not hit the suspect, Royal said. The man then was taken into custody and booked into county jail, where he allegedly gave a false name.

According to Royal, a handgun was found, but it was not clear where it was located. Deputies allegedly located drug paraphernalia in Lang’s vehicle, as well as three small packages of meth totaling about 28 grams on his person.

“We ran the prints, and the DOJ did a hard comparison to prints known to belong to Godwin,” Royal said. “They said, ‘No, it’s not him.’”

The man’s fingerprints eventually came back as belonging to Lang.

Lang had been serving a sentence for grand larceny, possession of stolen property and keeping a place to sell controlled substances and had walked away from a “transitional center” near Las Vegas in late August 2011, said a spokesman from the Nevada Department of Corrections.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.


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