by Diane Tuazon
HOBBS, NEW MEXICO - The search is on in Hobbs where a convicted killer is on the loose after a mix-up at the courthouse. Billy Maples was convicted last week of voluntary manslaughter and instead of being taken into custody he walked away free.
The search for Maples didn't really get started until late Tuesday when a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. Hobbs police admit they are already days behind, and have no clue as to where he might be.
Maples was convicted last Thursday for the death of 26-year-old Jennifer Cox. Cox was found dead inside a garage on West Taos in Hobbs.
After Maples was found guilty the judge set an appeal bond of $25,000 for Maples, but he was never taken into custody and no bond was paid.
NewsWest 9 was told Maples and his bondsman failed to file an appeal; now he's nowhere to be found.
NewsWest 9 tried contacting Maples' attorney but she wasn't available for comment. Hobbs police are asking anyone with information to call Hobbs Crime Stoppers.