Escapee Stops for Coffee During Time on the Run

7:35 PM, Jan 6, 2014   |    comments
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West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Café Strudel in West Columbia is known for their coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice and their brunch that often comes with a long wait.

"It started out as a normal day. I hadn't done a whole lot all morning and he walked in right when lunch was about to start," said Kayla Watts, a server at Café Strudel.

Watts says on Thursday, one of her customers was 39-year-old Jason Mark Carter, but she didn't learn exactly who he was until she saw his mug shot on the news later.

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"I think one of the big questions from everyone here is how did you get here and why you were here," said Carter.

She says Carter was dressed like any other businessman that comes into the restaurant. Watts says the interaction was brief.

"He drank a cup of coffee, paid with cash and left in a taxi." 

Authorities say in 2006 Carter shot his mother and stepfather at their Seneca home, then wrapped their bodies in plastic. Carter was found not guilty buy reason of insanity and committed in 2009.

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"Luckily nothing bad happened but I just kept thinking it could have gone really wrong," said Watts.

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