Prisoner appears on kidnapping charges

A serving federal prisoner made a brief court appearance by closed-circuit television on Friday in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a female corrections officer from Drumheller Institution in October.

A serving federal prisoner made a brief court appearance by closed-circuit television on Friday in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a female corrections officer from Drumheller Institution in October.

The woman, by herself, was escorting the man convicted of second-degree murder back to the federal jail after he was given a day pass to visit his family in Buck Lake, 15 minutes southeast of Drayton Valley, on Oct. 18.

The inmate’s sentence started on July 2, 1997.

Three Hills RCMP allege the inmate faked being sick and then overpowered the corrections officer by choking her with his hands and the seatbelt. The inmate then allegedly tied up the officer and put her in the back seat of the van.

The inmate had not been handcuffed or secured in any way, say police.

Some time later, he allegedly dropped the corrections officer off at Range Road 252 and Hwy 587.

The inmate was arrested about 45 minutes after he had taken off. An RCMP officer from Olds found him quietly parked on the side of the road near Range Road 272 and Hwy 587, between Huxley and Olds.

Court was told on Friday that Donald Junior Fowler, 32, was looking for a lawyer to represent him through legal aid.

He will again make a Red Deer provincial court appearance via closed-circuit television on Jan. 6.

Fowler is charged with escaped lawful custody, assaulting a peace officer, kidnapping, forcible confinement, theft of a motor vehicle over $5,000, dangerous driving and attempts to choke, suffocate or strangle another person.