The Oklahoman

Oklahoma County inmate escapes after stealing car

Leach last seen driving a red 2008 Honda Civic

- Staff reports

In another embarrassm­ent for the Oklahoma County jail, an inmate escaped Wednesday night, stole a detention worker’s car and drove away.

The jail made public the escape in a news release hours later.

Nicholas James Leach was still missing Thursday.

Leach, a trustee working with the maintenanc­e department, stole a remote that opens a gate from a maintenanc­e worker’s backpack Wednesday night.

Leach, 41, also took the worker’s car keys out of the backpack, opened the gate with the remote, found the worker’s car and drove out of the jail parking lot, according to jail officials.

Leach was last seen driving a red 2008 Honda Civic. All of the vehicle’s windows are tinted except the driver’s side window. He may be wearing a black Oklahoma County Detention Center-logoed maintenanc­e T-shirt. This is the latest high-profile incident at the 13-story jail west of downtown Oklahoma City. The jail, which is operated by a trust, has been under intense scrutiny due to inmate deaths, inspection failures, a hostage-taking incident and other problems.

The trust took over supervisio­n of the jail in July 2020.

Leach was booked into the jail on May 29. He pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to second-degree burglary, false declaratio­n to a pawn shop and probation violations. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, records show.

Anyone who sees Leach or has any other informatio­n is asked to call 911.

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