UPDATE: Mendota escapee sentenced to prison

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UPDATE: A man, who escaped from a mental institute, last summer, is sentenced to two years in prison.

Graham Stowe

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 --- 6:17pm

A man, who escaped from a mental institute, last summer, is sentenced to two years in prison.

31-year-old Graham Stowe was first institutionalized at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in 2004, after he broke into his ex-girlfriends home, tied up her brother and father, and threatened to light them on fire.

Stowe will serve 500 days in prison, since he's already served 228 days. It's a sentence the judge says could have been lenient, if Stowe turned himself in right away. “If you had turned yourself in later on July 2 or on July 3 or on July 4 this would be a very different situation” says Judge John Markson, prior to Tuesday's sentencing.

Following his time in prison, Stowe will have two years of supervision. He'll then be put back in a mental institution.

UPDATED Saturday, October 12, 2013 --- 11:13 p.m.

From our news partner, WLUK in Green Bay:

FOND DU LAC - The U.S. Marshals Service confirms authorities arrested Graham Stowe in Fond du Lac Saturday night.

The 30-year-old escaped from a mental health institute in Madison last July.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Patrick Amerson tells FOX 11 Stowe was picked up by deputy marshals and Fond du Lac police around 9:30.

He was taken to the Fond du Lac County Jail.

Many of the details surrounding his capture are still unknown, however, Amerson says an informant helped lead officials to arrest Stowe.

Stowe escaped from the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison on July 2, 2013.

He was committed to the institute in 2004, and again in 2009.

In 2004, police say Stowe broke into his former girlfriend's rural Brown County home.

He allegedly tied up her brother and father, doused them in gasoline and threatened to light them on fire.

No one was seriously hurt.

Amerson says a second person has been arrested in addition to Stowe.

That person, Amerson says, was allegedly either assisting Stowe or assisted him in his escape.


UPDATED Friday, July 5, 2013 --- 4:56 p.m.

From our news partner, WLUK in Green Bay:

ASHWAUBENON - The search continues for 30-year-old Graham Stowe. Stowe escaped from the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison Tuesday afternoon.

Law enforcement officers in our area say Stowe has a lengthy, violent criminal history.

His record includes a 2004 incident with his ex-girlfriend. Court documents show Stowe broke into Amanda Boeder's house. He tied up her brother and father, and threatened to set her father on fire.

Stowe was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. A judge sent him to a state mental health facility. He was released in 2007, but sent back in 2009.

Authorities believe Stowe may be in the Brown County area because of family ties, including his wife.

FOX 11 spoke with her Friday. She says Stowe hasn't contacted her, and she has no idea where he might be.

Madison police say Graham Stowe was last seen leaving a minimum security area at the Mendota Mental Health Center.

“He was in a particular type of confinement which allowed for him to have some privileges, and I think part of the investigation is to figure out whether or not that lent an opportunity for him to leave the facility,” said Howard Payne, Madison Police Department spokesman in a phone interview.

Police say Stowe apparently climbed a fence and ran off into the woods, possibly armed with a golf club.

“No matter where you might be at that particular facility, woods are extremely close, or close proximity to you, so with the thick foliage and lots of trees in the area, Stowe was able to be out of sight real quick,” said Payne.

Authorities believe Stowe may be in Brown County where family and friends live. Stowe's wife Nicole, who doesn't want to reveal her last name, says she hasn't heard from him and doubts she will.

“I think Green Bay would be the absolute last place he would come. He wouldn't want to put us in a position where we would have to lie or anything, he wouldn't want to put us in that position,” said Nicole in a phone interview.

Nicole says her husband was trusted by staff at the facility, and had a number of privileges which allowed him to leave the center.

“He volunteers every Friday at a food pantry by himself, he rides his bike, he goes to the library three times a week by himself. Every time I'm down there we go on a day pass by ourselves,” said Nicole.

Nicole says she last talked with her husband the day before he escaped. She adds there was an issue which could have meant moving him to a more secure unit, a setback as the couple prepared to petition for Stowe's release later this month.

Nicole says after talking with Mendota staff she believes that may be why he left the facility.

“Basically, security had come over to get him, that he was out in the yard hitting golf balls, and they think that he knew and that he left, he knew,” said Nicole.

The Mendota Mental Health Center referred FOX 11 to the Department of Health Services for any information on Stowe's escape.

DHS officials would only say the center's procedures and exactly what happened on Tuesday are under review.

As the search continues, authorities warn people that Stowe has the potential to be dangerous. His wife disagrees.

“He made a very big mistake 10 years ago, he did, and he'd be the first to tell you that. He has been sorry for that event since the day it happened. He is not a dangerous person,” said Nicole.

Graham Stowe was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jean shorts. He's 5’8”, 165 pounds.

Anyone who sees Stowe is asked to call 911 immediately.

If you have information about where he may be, you are asked to call the Brown County Sheriff's Office at (920) 448-4230.


UPDATED Wednesday July 3, 2013 --- 5:18 p.m.

Madison police now say mental facility escapee Graham Stowe may no longer be in the area. Stowe escaped from Mendota Mental Health Institute Tuesday afternoon. Madison police say they are no longer actively searching any particular area for the man with a violent history.

From the MPD Facebook page: "The investigation has determined that Stowe has had previous community release privileges in the Madison area, and was last seen leaving a minimum security area yesterday."

Police say if you do see Stowe to call 911.


UPDATED Tuesday, July 2, 2013 --- 11:15 p.m.
Reporter: Phil Levin

Police say the search for Graham Stowe has moved to the Waunakee area.

K-9 officers are still tracking the escaped inmate's scent in an area about 6 miles from the Mendota Mental Health Institute.

Court records indicate Stowe was originally committed when he kidnapped his former girlfriend, tied up her brother and father and tried to kill himself in 2004. He was released in 2007 but recommitted in 2009 after contacting the former girlfriend, among other probation violations.


Tuesday July 2, 2013

MADISON-Wis.--Police in the Madison area are looking for an inmate who managed to escape from a Madison mental institute.

Graham L. Stowe was being held at Mendota Mental Health Institute on a case from Brown County, according to an email from the Madison Police Dept.

Stowe was committed for Bail Jumping, three counts of False Imprisonment, First Degree Reckless Endangerment and Felony Intimidation of a Victim.

Stowe is 30 years old, 5'7" and weighs 150 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police say Stowe is violent and if you see him to call 911.

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