James Lee Busch and Zachary Armitage escaped from William Head Institution in Metchosin on Sunday, July 7. (Correctional Service of Canada/Facebook)

William Head escapees scheduled to appear in court later this month

Zachary Armitage, James Busch face charges of escape from lawful custody

Two inmates who escaped from William Head Institution in Metchosin in July are scheduled to appear in court at the end of September and beginning of October.

James Busch and Zachary Armitage escaped the low-security prison around 6:45 p.m. on July 7. The Correctional Service of Canada said staff discovered their absence later that night.

The two escapees were recaptured on July 9 in Esquimalt after commenting on an off-duty RCMP officer’s dog.

READ ALSO: Metchosin working with William Head to improve communication after prison break

READ ALSO: RCMP identifies persons of interest in murder of Metchosin man

Busch, 42, is serving a sentence for second-degree murder and assault, and has served time for aggravated assault and escaping custody. Armitage, 30, is serving a 13-year, 10-month sentence for robbery, aggravated assault and other offences.

After their recapture, Metchosin resident Martin Payne was found dead in his home on July 12. His truck was found in Oak Bay the same day the inmates were taken back into custody.

West Shore RCMP has remained tight-lipped on the investigation into Payne’s death and has not confirmed a link between the inmates’ escape and Payne’s death. However, police said foul play was involved in his death and that they have identified persons of interest in the case.

Police said there is no reason to believe the public is at risk.

Armitage is scheduled to appear at the Western Communities Provincial Court on Sept. 24 while Busch is set to appear on Oct. 1.

READ ALSO: Langford mayor left with questions nearly two months after Metchosin prison escape

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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