Man accused of sexual crimes against toddler flees courthouse du - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Man accused of sexual crimes against toddler flees courthouse during smoke break

(Source: WOIO) (Source: WOIO)
LORAIN COUNTY, OH (WOIO) -

Doors have been knocked on, relatives talked to, and sources worked -- but there is still no sign of Devonte Gibbs. Gibbs simply walked away from the Lorain County Courthouse on Monday as a jury deliberated his fate.

"We believe he's still in the Lorain/Elyria area, however, if he has left the area, if he has left the state, the marshals service and the task force will find him. And we will go to great lengths to find him," said Anne Murphy, Deputy U.S. Marshal.

An hour after Gibbs walked away, the jury found him guilty of violent sexual crimes against a 2-year-old.

Gibbs had walked out of the courthouse to smoke a cigarette. He didn't come back. A short time later, the jury returned the guilty verdict.

Gibbs was on bond, and had been walking the streets for weeks. He was not being supervised. The bond was set at $60,000, meaning he was free until/if convicted by putting down 10 percent of that. Some question whether it should have been higher for a guy who is facing a possible life sentence with no parole, and had previously fled from police.

“Anybody who comes in contact with him needs to know that if they help him or aid him in any way that there's a possibility of them facing charges, we take that very seriously and I'm sure the sheriff’s department takes that very seriously as well," said Murphy.

The Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force can be reached at 1-866-4-WANTED. Callers can remain anonymous and reward money is available.

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