In­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der­way in Ohio prison es­cape

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

LIMA, Ohio (AP) — Crim­i­nal and in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions were un­der­way Fri­day to de­ter­mine how three Ohio in­mates in­clud­ing a con­victed killer of three stu­dents were able to es­cape from prison dur­ing recre­ation a day ear­lier.

The state prisons agency also said out­side ex­perts will re­view the agency’s pro­ce­dures and rec­om­mend pos­si­ble im­prove­ments.

The three pris­on­ers were be­ing held in a pro­tec­tive con­trol unit that had been cited for se­cu­rity is­sues in a re­cent re­port, and the es­cape came a day after prison of­fi­cials ap­par­ently foiled an es­cape plan by another in­mate from the same unit.

The three es­caped pris­on­ers, in­clud­ing con­victed Chardon High School shooter T.J. Lane, were re­cap­tured by early Fri­day morn­ing.

All three were trans­ferred later Fri­day to a high-se­cu­rity prison in Youngstown in northeastern Ohio.

“They should’ve been watch­ing him more closely,” said Morten Pederson, 42, of Chardon, the com­mu­nity stunned by Lane’s shoot­ing of three high school stu­dents in 2012. Pederson has two chil­dren in the dis­trict.

The three in­mates scaled a fence to a roof over an en­try build­ing at 7:38 p.m., im­me­di­ately sound­ing an alarm, the state said.

A prison guard chased and caught one in­mate, Lind­sey Bruce, im­me­di­ately. Lane, 19, was caught only about 100 yards from the prison by two state troop­ers at 1:20 a.m. Fri­day after a po­lice dog lo­cated him, the state said.

The third in­mate, Clif­ford Op­pe­rud, was caught at 4:20 a.m. after an in­frared cam­era led of­fi­cers to his hid­ing area un­der a boat at a res­i­dence and a po­lice dog found him, the state said.

One in­mate was put in seg­re­ga­tion when an es­cape plan was dis­cov­ered on Wed­nes­day, the Ohio Civil Ser­vice Em­ploy­ees As­so­ci­a­tion said in a state­ment. That in­mate was housed in the same unit as the three who es­caped the fol­low­ing evening, and prison of­fi­cials didn’t take ad­di­tional steps to se­cure the unit, the union said.

A spokes­woman for the Depart­ment of Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Cor­rec­tion said in an email that the seg­re­gated in­mate “has noth­ing to do with the es­cape.”

Lane’s brief taste of free­dom frightened res­i­dents in Chardon, the com­mu­nity nearly 200 miles to the east where Lane fa­tally shot three stu­dents and wounded two oth­ers and then fur­ther an­gered peo­ple with de­fi­ant be­hav­ior in court. At his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing last year, Lane un­but­toned a dress shirt to re­veal a T-shirt scrawled with the word “killer,” sim­i­lar to a shirt he wore dur­ing the shoot­ings on Feb. 27, 2012. He cursed and made an ob­scene ges­ture as the judge gave him three con­sec­u­tive life sen­tences.

School of­fi­cials can­celed classes Fri­day.

“It’s a trig­ger,” dis­trict spokes­woman Ellen On­drey said of the es­cape. “It takes ev­ery­one back to 2/27 and what was hap­pen­ing that day.”

The es­cape oc­curred at Allen Oak­wood Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion, a min­i­mu­mand medium-se­cu­rity prison in Lima, about 80 miles south of Toledo.

Lane was housed on a “pro­tec­tive con­trol” unit, a higher se­cu­rity set­ting than the main com­pound, ac­cord­ing to a leg­isla­tive prisons over­sight com­mit­tee state­ment Fri­day.

AP Photo/rick Osentoski

A fence sur­rounds the perime­ter of the Allen Oak­wood Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion Fri­day, Sept. 12, 2014 in Lima, Ohio. T.J. Lane, a teenager con­victed of killing three stu­dents at an Ohio high school, climbed over a fence Thurs­day Sept. 11, 2014 to es­cape the state prison with two other pris­on­ers. He was caught nearly six hours later early Fri­day as he hid by a nearby church, in Lima.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.