Prison sweethearts Ronald McIntosh and Samantha Dorinda Lopez smiled and winked at each other Friday as they appeared in federal court here after their indictment in a helicopter escape from prison.
The four-count indictment charged McIntosh, 42, with air piracy, use of a firearm during a felony and aiding in the escape of Lopez, 37. Lopez was charged with escape.
McIntosh and Lopez entered the courtroom handcuffed and smiling and exchanged long looks and winks as U.S. Magistrate F. Steele Langford read the indictment.
They have been held in county jails 25 miles apart since Nov. 15, when they were caught trying to buy wedding rings at a suburban Sacramento shopping center on their 10th day on the run.
McIntosh, a convicted con man, managed to slip away from the minimum-security Federal Correctional Institution in Pleasanton Oct. 28 during a transfer to another prison. He returned eight days later in a hijacked helicopter and whisked away Lopez, who was serving 50 years for bank robbery, as inmates cheered and whistled in a recreation yard.
Assistant U.S. Atty. Mark Zanides said McIntosh faces a maximum 30 years in prison and Lopez faces five years that could be tacked onto prison terms they were already serving.
Langford ordered McIntosh and Lopez to return to court Tuesday for arraignment.