Inmate To Roommate ex-con William “Bill” Hawley has A LOT of stories to tell, much to the chagrin of his new roommates, Seventh-day Adventist couple Mark and Sharna. In addition to being a car and jewel thief, Bill was also a prison escapee — for all of two weeks. His escape and capture story is one for the ages, but likely won’t be adapted into the next Shawshank Redemption.
In May of 2005, Bill had five years left on his sentence when he was assigned to a prison work detail. The 42-year-old prisoner told his supervisor that he was sick, and he was allowed to take a break under a bridge.
Slick Bill ditched his prison clothes and was able to find a gullible woman (***cough*** Sharna ***cough***) willing to give him a ride after he told her that his car had broken down and his girlfriend or wife was about to deliver their baby. The woman drove Bill around to five medical centers in two counties! 😂
From CBS News:
She also gave him $20 for a meal at a fast-food restaurant in Port St. Lucie. He was last seen getting into a sport utility vehicle with two women. The career criminal was still missing early Wednesday.
Hawley was serving a 10-year term for a police chase and burglary, theft and cocaine charges.
The woman was unharmed and only found out that she was working for Fugitive Uber when she returned home to concerned families and police detectives. “He was very nice,” sheriff’s Sgt. John Silvas said after speaking with the woman. “They talked about religion, family.”
Bill managed to elude police for roughly two weeks total, and was “last seen in a vehicle he allegedly stole after spending the night eating pizza with a mentally disabled Port St. Lucie resident,” reported the Sun Sentinel.
As I’m sure you have guessed, Bill’s luck (and skill) eventually ran out. The master burglar and thief apparently had a bit of a lapse when he entered a Sears department store across the street from Daytona International Speedway and attempted to steal a $15.99 crowbar. A security guard witnessed Bill removing the tag and placing the pry bar in a gym bag and called police.
When police arrived, they searched Bill and also found a glass pipe with suspected cocaine residue, according to the arrest report. Bill gave police a different name, but his fingerprints revealed him to be South Florida’s most wanted escapee. Not to be discouraged, Bill then shifted gears and told the officers that he escaped because he was a confidential informant in prison and his identity had been compromised. (Believe it or not, there’s actually some truth to that story! Stay tuned for a future article!)
Bill was charged with retail theft and possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. According to court records, those charges were later dropped. More years were added to Bill’s sentence, which I assume was for attempted escape. That charge was not filed in the same county, so I’ve been unable to confirm the conviction and/or the additional sentencing.
To keep up with Bill’s legal escape and relocation, be sure to tune in to new episodes of Inmate To Roommate airing Thursday nights at 10/9c on A&E!
If you’re curious to see what Bill is like on screen, here’s a great scene with him and new roommate Mark in which Mark lets the former getaway driver and car thief drive his SUV — with predictable results:
It’s Wild Bill y’all!