Clanton suspect arrested after manhunt in Autauga

Published 11:13 pm Thursday, May 22, 2014

By Kevin Taylor | The Wetumpka Herald

It took a manhunt to track down a Clanton man who had been using his uncle’s identity to avoid prosecution for a misdemeanor theft charge in Millbrook.

Christopher R. Wingard, 43, had been arrested on April 11 for shoplifting at the Millbrook Walmart.



He was scheduled to appear in municipal court this month when it was further determined he used his uncle’s identity to avoid the charge.

“It’s sad that all this started over a misdemeanor arrest that probably would have resulted in little if any jail time and a monetary fine,” Millbrook Police Chief P.K. Johnson said. “Because he refused to accept responsibility for his actions, Wingard now faces far more serious charges.”

Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Wingard was spotted near Interstate 65 in Autauga County.

When an Autauga County deputy tried to apprehend Wingard, he refused to comply and fled on foot into a heavily wooded area near the 188 mile marker off of I-65.

Corrections and Alabama State Troopers began the manhunt and eventually called it off around 5:30 p.m.

Just before 7 p.m. Wingard was tracked down and taken into custody near County Road 66 in the Pine Level community by an Autauga County Sheriff’s deputy with the help of the tracking dogs.

Wingard was booked into the Elmore County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Millbrook Police charged him on May 19 with felony obstructing justice using a false identity and second-degree forgery.

Wingard’s address was off County Road 35 in Clanton.