MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

April 26, 2013

Inmate missing since 1999 surrenders

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — After 14 years on the run from the FBI and tips from witnesses in two countries, David Lee Kemp turned himself over to authorities in southwest Oklahoma early Friday morning, local authorities said.

Kemp of Lawton was the only inmate to elude capture after escaping with eight other inmates on March 11, 1999, while awaiting trial on two first-degree murder counts in the killings of his ex-wife and her boyfriend.

Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley said Kemp told police he was done running.

“He said that he was just tired basically of running and it was affecting his health,” Stradley told The Associated Press.

Comanche County Jail records show Kemp was taken into custody at about 1:40 a.m. Friday on charges of felony first-degree murder and escaping from a county jail, a misdemeanor.

The sequence of events leading up to his arrest started at a rest stop along Interstate 44, Stradley said, when Kemp knocked on the window of a sleeping truck driver.

“He said, ‘I need you to call Comanche County sheriff’s department to come up here. I need to talk to them,’” Stradley said.

A deputy arrived and told Kemp he looked familiar. The deputy then asked for Kemp’s name. Kemp told him and was immediately arrested, Stradley said. It’s unclear if Kemp has a lawyer.

Kemp is charged in the deaths of Christina Cremer and her boyfriend, Robert Miller, whose bodies were found in August 1998, riddled with bullets in their Lawton apartment. He was apprehended by police in California days later and taken to Comanche County.

In March 1999, he and eight other inmates overpowered a guard with a large grilling fork and escaped. Most were recaptured the same day.

Since then, Kemp was the subject of the “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries” TV shows. He was reportedly spotted in Las Vegas and may have also been spotted in Phoenix, Louisiana and even Canada.

Stradley was also sheriff back in 1999 when Kemp escaped, and called Kemp’s capture “a big relief.”

Angie Cremer, who is married to Christina Cremer’s older brother, said the family had mixed emotions after the arrest.

“There’s anger about what happened, then there’s the grief that comes back. There’s a lot of range of emotion that they’re going through today,” she told the AP late Friday.

A spokesman for the county said Kemp was under observation because of suicide concerns.

“He’s completely compliant right now and following all the rules,” said Jacob Russell, the spokesman. “All the added security at this time will be to and from the courtroom.”

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