Ark. man to face 2nd degree murder charge

EL DORADO, Ark. (AP) - Authorities plan to file a second-degree murder charge against an escaped Garland County inmate who led them on a high-speed chase, during which his girlfriend died.

Union County Sheriff Ken Jones says 38-year-old Joseph Mitchell of Hot Springs also is being charged with second-degree escape, first-degree attempted battery, felony fleeing, aggravated assault and criminal mischief.

Mitchell escaped from a Hot Springs hospital on Sunday after being checked in as an inmate patient. Authorities say he led them on a high-speed chase Thursday through Ashley and Union counties.

According to the Union County Sheriff's office, Mitchell suffered serious injuries when officers fired multiple shots at his vehicle. His girlfriend, 47-year-old Belinda Bair of Mountain Pine, was a passenger in his vehicle and was shot and killed.

Mitchell now is under guard at a Little Rock hospital.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)