Updated 2:44 p.m. Monday 

URBANA -- A Ludlow man who eluded U.S. Marshals Service officers and other police Friday during a six-hour manhunt has turned himself in to authorities.

Justin Hardin, 37, is wanted in Kentucky on attempted murder charges. He is due to be arraigned Tuesday in Urbana as a fugitive from justice.

Hardin had been staying at his mother's house in Ludlow when he saw police coming into town and bolted into the wooded area near the Canadian National railroad tracks. A lengthy manhunt ensued before police gave up the chase.

He was wanted in Nelson County, Ky., on a charge of attempted murder following an armed robbery that ended with an officer-involved shooting in Hardin County in January 2019. He was arrested on two counts of attempted murder and other charges.

The case was dismissed without prejudice in late 2019 due to the unavailability of the victims in the case to testify. A grand jury, however re-indicted Hardin in June on the attempted murder charges as well as charges of first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm, possession of cocaine and two counts of torturing an animal. Bond was set at $500,000.

In the January 2019 incident, one victim was located in the kitchen of a home with a gunshot wound to the head. Another victim was shot in the arm. One victim gave police the first name and description of the suspect. Hardin also reportedly left the house with a stolen rifle.

Hardin led Kentucky State Police on a pursuit later that morning after they tried to initiate a traffic stop. Police used tire-deflation devices to stop Hardin following a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph.

Hardin's vehicle struck a Waffle House restaurant. Two employees saw the vehicle coming toward them and ran into the back of the building to escape injury.

Police said Hardin refused to obey officers' commands, and a trooper shot him in the leg.

Hardin reportedly admitted to the shooting when interviewed by police, who said he also admitted to using alcohol and cocaine.

The incident appeared to be drug-related, according to the Nelson County Sheriff's Office.

Police said Hardin and the two victims knew each other, and the shootings occurred following an argument.




LUDLOW — A Ludlow man wanted for attempted murder in Kentucky eluded arrest in Ludlow Thursday.

Justin Hardin fled officers when they attempted to arrest him about 8 a.m., according to Champaign Police Sgt. Dave Griffet.

A manhunt ensued involving about 15 officers, but Hardin could not be located.

Ludlow Police Chief Joe Navarro said U.S. Marshals Service officers attempted to serve a warrant on Hardin, who is a native of Ludlow, at his mother’s house on Orange Street.

Justin Hardin


“Upon seeing our people arrive in town (he) fled across the road and into a wooded area” near the Canadian National railroad tracks, Griffet said.

A Rantoul police canine was brought in but could not locate Hardin.

The manhunt ended after about six hours.

Griffet, who is also with the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, said Hardin was wanted in both Texas and Kentucky and was arrested in February and held in the Ford County jail.

“During that time frame, he made bond on one, and the other warrant never lodged against him and he was released. Now that warrant was reissued out of Kentucky.”

Griffet didn’t know the particulars of the alleged attempted murder in Kentucky. The offices of the Ford County sheriff and state’s attorney were closed Friday due to the Fourth of July holiday.

A white male, Hardin is described as 5-9, 161 pounds with brown hair and medium build.

Griffet said anyone who sees Hardin should call 911.