Judge Orders Competency Evaluation For Man That Evaded Capture In Century Woods

May 15, 2024

A judge had ordered an evaluation to determine if a man that evaded capture in the woods around Century for weeks is competent to stand trial.

Christopher George Pace, 41, arson, trespassing with property damage, resisting arrest without violence, and two additional counts of resisting.

Authorities said he spent most of this time in a heavy wooded area near Pleasant Hill Road north of West Highway 4 in Century, despite several manhunts to locate him.

Now, following his May 1 arrest, Pace will undergo a court ordered psychological examination.

Pace’s public defender has submitted a plea of not guilty on his behalf and filed a successful motion for a competency evaluation.

Jude Linda Nobles appointed a psychologist to examine Pace with the written report is due back to the court by June 3.

On April 29, he evaded capture Monday during a manhunt involving dozens of state and local law enforcement officers, police K-9 units and a drone.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and K-9s from the Century Correctional Institution and Escambia County Road Prison captured Pace without incident two days later in a heavily wooded area off Pleasant Hill Road.

According to sheriff’s office reports:

On February 27, Pace allegedly set a fire in a wooded area at the dead end of Sellers Road off West Highway 4. In an incident captured in game camera photos, someone piled a tent and other items onto a deer feeder before they were burned. The fire destroyed $450 worth of property including a hunting blind/tent, a deer feeder, 50 pounds of feed corn, a batter, solar battery charger and an archery target.

Pace was identified as the suspect in the game camera photos by one of his relatives and a deputy.

On March 18 deputies attempted to locate Pace in the wooded area in order to serve an arrest warrant. They spotted him on a trail through a wooded area at the dead end of Pleasant Hill Road, according to a report. They came close enough to him to make eye contact before he ran into the woods. Deputies pursued on foot but lost sight.

Two ECSO K-9s, a K-9 from the Century Correctional Institution, and a drone team were unable to locate him. One ECSO deputy received minor injuries to his knee during the chase.

On April 21, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded to a suspicious person complaint in the area of Williams Street and West Highway 4. A responded deputy recognized a person walking on Williams Street as Pace. Pace ran into a wooded area when he saw the marked Sheriff’s Office vehicle. The deputy gave chase on foot, but lost Pace. An ECSO K-9 responded but was unable to locate him in the woods. a deputy reportedly tripped on vines and suffered minor injuries.

NorthEscambia.com photos and photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


5 Responses to “Judge Orders Competency Evaluation For Man That Evaded Capture In Century Woods”

  1. Red on May 17th, 2024 1:58 am

    I agree River Rat! He’s competent , smarter than the average skunk, after all he got away with the last arson charge!
    Why waste the money on the test (s)

  2. Blackcat Pride on May 15th, 2024 7:50 pm

    Looks like we have a Century RAMBO. Yall law dogs need to be careful out there.

  3. MQ on May 15th, 2024 3:51 pm

    I was thinking the same thing as River Rat!

  4. Justin Peterson on May 15th, 2024 3:33 pm

    The first thing I thought of was my word, out there is those woods for weeks, with no food, shelter, the heat, the ants, and the critters, That’s worse than jail, and for something so senseless as burning some hunting gear. I hope he gets the help he needs, something is clearly wrong with his mind.

  5. River Rat on May 15th, 2024 9:32 am

    I would say he is competent to stand trial. He out smarted the police at least 4 times!
    Why wast the money on as test?

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