PHOENIX - A convicted rapist who authorities say is armed and dangerous has escaped from a southern Arizona jail and is believed to be somewhere in the Phoenix metro area.
Clifford Bea Fowler, 32, was being held in a Greenlee County jail in connection with a fatal hit-and-run when he escaped sometime around midnight on Sunday, Greenlee County Sheriff Steven Tucker said.
Greenlee County is located east of Safford, along the Arizona-New Mexico border.
Fowler has served two previous sentences, one in the rape of a 76-year-old woman, and another for in an assault case.
Tucker said Fowler had a scheduled hearing on Tuesday and was expected to accept a plea bargain in the hit-and-run case.
Authorities believe Tucker has an association with a white supremacy group known as the Aryan Brotherhood.
He has "skinhead" tattooed on the front of his neck, "white power" on the back of his head and neck, a swastika on the side of his head, and a lightning bolt on the other side.
Tucker said that the sheriff's office was working several leads in the case.