From Staff Reports

WEATHERFORD - Parker County Fugitive Investigators and U.S. Marshals arrested a Mineral Wells couple in western Parker County Thursday afternoon ending the fugitives’ four-year run from North Carolina authorities after being wanted in connection with a 2004 child abuse case.

Parker County Fugitive Officers recently joined the U.S. Marshals Services DFW Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team in Fort Worth who made the arrest. According to Sheriff Larry Fowler, the case reportedly stemmed from a 2000 child abuse investigation in Gastonia, N.C., where the pair apparently fled.

According to investigators, Johnny Lee Owensby, 30, was sentenced March 11, 2004, for felony assault with a deadly weapon resulting in serious bodily injury. He was ordered to indeterminately serve 29-44 months. He then fled before surrendering to begin serving that sentence.

Joy Sue Owensby, 29, was arrested June 23, 2000, on charges of accessory after the fact for assault with a deadly weapon and felony child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor child. North Carolina authorities issued a warrant for her arrest Feb. 12, 2004, after she failed to appear at trial in the case.

Gastonia detectives involved with the case learned the possible whereabouts of the couple last week and notified the U.S. Marshals Office in Charlotte, N.C., who coordinated efforts with the agency’s Fort Worth office.

According to Fowler, the investigation led the Marshals Strike Team to an address in Mineral Wells near the old base housing addition in the 900 block of Morton. Fugitive investigators and U.S. marshals set up surveillance on the home around 2 p.m. when they observed the female get into a vehicle and attempt to drive away. Joy Owensby was taken into custody some blocks from the home by investigators and provided them with a passkey to the house where the male suspect was found.

According to officials, efforts to knock-and-announce went unheeded by the male suspect. The team then entered the home and took Johnny Owensby into custody from his bed without incident.

The duo remained incarcerated at the Parker County Justice Center Tuesday where they will face extradition back to North Carolina.

Fowler said the investigation was a textbook example of collateral efforts and commended the U.S. Marshals Strike Team in Fort Worth, Charlotte, the Gastonia Police Department and the Weatherford-Parker County fugitive investigators.

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