Duane Chapman, or Dog The Bounty Hunter, is a true personality. He soared into the spotlight for his skills catching fugitives on the run or who ignored their bail conditions, and proved his bounty hunting skills. However, Dog found himself in jail himself in the 1970s, and recently opened up over the time behind bars.
Dog The Bounty Hunter rose to fame internationally in 2003 after successfully capturing Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Mexico. Since then, viewers have learned about his life through his own series and many spin-off shows.
However, nearly three decades before he became a well-known bounty hunter, he found himself in big trouble. Although he did not commit a crime himself, Dog was sentenced to five years and one day in a Texas prison, but served 18 months.
45 years later, Dog the Bounty Hunter was seen choking back tears as he recalls the traumatic yet transformative time behind bars.
Why did Dog The Bounty Hunter go to prison?
Dog the Bounty Hunter has a strong fan base after his successful reality shows.
However, his life was turned upside down in 1977 – decades before he rose to fame.
In 1976, Duane was convicted of first-degree murder following the death of Jerry Oliver in Pampa, Texas. At the time, Duane was only 23 years old and a young biker. He was waiting in the car when his friend went to see Oliver.
As reported by The Sun, one of his friends accidentally shot and killed 69-year-old Oliver. He was an alleged drug dealer and pimp, and the two reportedly argued over a cannabis deal.
Duane himself was not involved in the crime, and did not travel to the area to commit one either. However, he explained, at the time, any person who was somewhat connected, involved indirectly – say being with a friend who committed a crime, were also found guilty.
Dog was handed a five-year prison sentence.
Dog the Bounty Hunter fights back tears as he talks about jail time
On November 8, Duane took to his personal Instagram account to share a touching story about his jail time.
He wrote in his caption: “My birthday is on Groundhog Day, so I call it Grounddog Day! But February 6, 1979 will always be a day of God’s mercy to me.”
In the emotional video, the 69-year-old spoke about the time he was sentenced for a total of five years and a day in jail. The star spoke about reconnecting with the Lord and reading the Bible while in prison.
“I became the pastor of prisoners,” he told the audience as he shared what he did while passing his time.
He admits he was sent into solitary confinement by the prison warden, accused of lying about his story. But after, the warden reportedly reached out to Dog to say he was told the same story by a cop in Texas. Dog then explains he was told the warden had a present for him – on February 2 – but they couldn’t give it to him because ‘he would be getting out of there’ days later. At this point, Dog fights back tears and his voice cracks as he recalls the emotional conversation.
18 months into his sentence, Dog The Bounty received the happy news he would be getting out of prison. It was four days after his birthday.
One of the conditions from his sentence forbids Dog from brandishing a gun. This is why he was seen using a taser on the show while colleagues had guns while bounty hunting.
Dog The Bounty caught Andrew Luster but went to prison for it
Another time Duane went to prison was in 2003 – although, it was a small stint behind bars. The bounty hunter was sent to a Mexican jail for allegedly ‘kidnapping’ fugitive Andrew Luster, heir to makeup cosmetics Max Factor.
Dog was on a mission to capture Andrew Lust, who was later handed a 124-year prison term in absentia of 86 counts. Those included rape of an intoxicated person, rape of an unconscious person, and sexual battery.
After he captured the fugitive, he found himself in big trouble, as Mexico considered bounty hunters illegal. Any form of bounty hunting was seen as committing ‘serious kidnapping’ under their law.
However, the star did not face any criminal charges and was released from jail. Thanks to his work on the case, he gained international fame and the rest is history.
His arrest came before he was known on television and had his show on A&E.