MILLER COUNTY, AR (KSLA) - A Southwest Arkansas inmate who escaped last week and is still on the run, reached out to KSLA News 12 in an exclusive interview sharing his side of the story.
On April 1, 34-year-old Daroyce Rodgers had just been sentenced to 20 years in prison on drug charges when he asked if he could give his mother a hug. That's when Miller County deputies say Rodgers bolted out of the courtroom leaving behind one shoe and his bible.
Rodgers says he contacted KSLA News 12 so his side of the story could be told. By telephone, Rodgers said he ran because he wasn't properly represented by his court appointed attorney.
"We never discussed my case. It was like a spur of the moment thing when I told the judge I did not want him to be my attorney and that we haven't been communicating, I hadn't been talking to him and he hadn't been talking to me," claims Rodgers.
Rodgers explained that after the sentencing, he asked to hug his mother and that is when he saw the opportunity to flee.
Miller County authorities say two bailiffs were injured during the escape but Rodgers says he didn't touch anyone on his way out.
"I did not want to touch anyone getting out of there and that is what I did. I didn't touch no one getting out of there and the only person who touched me was my mother, she grabbed my shirt and begged me not to run," says Rodgers.
Still, prosecutors are charging Rodgers for injuring two court bailiffs.
"They're mad because they didn't do their job right. They [Their] job was to secure that courtroom and they didn't do that," says Rodgers.
Rodgers says he left the courtroom and ran into a wooded area near downtown Texarkana.
"I want them to know I was in the woods the whole time because one guy walked right beside me and didn't even recognize me. I was hid under some leaves and some sticks and the whole time, the helicopter kept swarming down on top of me where I was at," explained Rodgers.
Rodgers told us he acted alone in the escape and refused to tell us his location but said at some point, he will turn himself in since he does not want to live a life on the run.
"Only one person knows where I'm at. Like I said, I'm not trying to be funny and that is God," Rodgers said.
When asked if we should consider him armed an dangerous, Rodgers responded "no sir. I would not hurt a fly. I would not hurt anyone sir, I was not raised like that."
Anyone with information on Rodgers' whereabouts is urged to call the Miller County Sheriff's Office at 870-774-3001.