by Donna McCollum
Amber McEntire and Darrel Yates III had been on the run for six weeks. The body of Amber's son was found near their home in Nacogdoches County after they took off. Thursday afternoon, a Texas Ranger and a sheriff's deputy left the Angelina County Airport to go and get McEntire and Yates. The couple are being held in South Texas. They were arrested Wednesday at the Matamoros and Brownsville border.
Weather was a factor in their departure. The state plane was grounded in Austin by ice on the runway. Then, arrangements had to be made to land in Lufkin instead of Nacogdoches. During renovation, that airport does not have runway lights. The plane should make its return landing with the couple on board Thursday evening.
The capture of McEntire and Yates is a big relief for many of their East Texas relatives. Doug McEntire is glad his daughter has been arrested, but he remains on the side of the baby he called "Doc." Harold "Doc" Harris's birthday is coming up the 18th. He was born right around Christmas time, so Christmas will probably be tainted for several years around our household," said McEntire.
There is some relief. His weeks of waiting for his daughter's return is over. Even so, he has no pity for Amber. McEntire shared, "I'm not really looking forward to seeing her, I guess." McEntire does expect to visit his oldest daughter in the coming days. He's thought about what he's going to say. "I'll give her the advice any father would give her to tell the truth about what happened. And she's probably not going to find a jury anywhere that's going to have any mercy on her for what she's done. So, if they offer something, take it," said McEntire.
McEntire's latest desire is a bond high enough to guarantee the couple stays in jail. For now, they're held for injury to a child, even though baby Harold died. Sheriff Thomas Kerss said, "You have to remember, injury to a child is a first degree felony, so the only penalty range that we're looking at that could possibly be higher would be if the case happened to go into a capital murder situation." A Grand Jury could determine that.
In the meantime, McEntire will deal with grief and forgiveness. McEntire quietly said, "Hopefully I'll live long enough to forgive her.