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Entries in Escape (12)

Monday
Oct242011

Two Florida Inmates Stage ‘Elaborate’ Escape

US Marshals Service(VERO BEACH, Fla.) -- Florida police are on the hunt for two “dangerous” cellmates they believe escaped through a jail vent Monday morning.

Both Rondell Reed, 51 who escaped a North Carolina prison before being recaptured more than 20 years ago, and Leviticus Taylor, 25, were being held in connection with separate first-degree murder cases.

No one realized the two were missing until a routine headcount about 4:54 a.m. at the Indian River County Corrections Facility in Indian County, Fla., according to officials there. A hunt for both men immediately ensued, and soon afterward police found their red jumpsuits in a service area.

“It was a very elaborate scheme and it was very detailed in the way they departed the premises,” Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said. “It’s an escape that when all the details come out, you won’t believe it.”

Police suspect that the men might have received help because they somehow managed to get over a 12-foot brick wall or 12-foot fence covered with razor wire without being detected. Indian River officials also suspect that they received transportation to get away from the prison.

The U.S Marshals Service, Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies are involved in the search. They were searching a wooded area near Vero Beach, Fla., earlier Monday. Police are unsure if either man is armed, but both are considered to be dangerous. Officials are checking prison cameras to see if the escape was captured.

Taylor was convicted of murder last month and was scheduled for sentencing Nov. 10. Reed is accused of murdering a Florida shop owner, and police say he was caught driving the victim's stolen Corvette in Indiana.

Reed, who is originally from Kentucky, is clean-shaven and no longer has the beard seen in his photo. Police say he has a past history of shooting at law enforcement.

Taylor’s photo shows him with long hair, but police say it’s now cropped. Police say his age and multiple relations make it more probable that he will be caught first.

“We do know both these men have relationships all over the United States from Texas, to New Jersey, to Indiana to Kentucky. That’s why we have implored federal agencies to assist us,” Sheriff Loar said.

The men have been cellmates for only five days but police believe they have had contact in the past few months. Both have multiple tattoos on their arms and bodies.

Police are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to their re-arrest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep212011

Oklahoma Jail Warden's Wife Found Guilty of Helping Inmate Escape

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- An Oklahoma jury Wednesday found a prison warden's wife guilty of helping a convicted killer escape jail 17 years ago. The jury spent less than three days deliberating whether Bobbi Parker, 49, had fallen in love with an inmate and helped him escape to run away with her or whether he had drugged and kidnapped her.

The decision came hours after the jurors had visited the home Parker used to share with her husband, Randy Parker, on the prison grounds. The jurors recommended that Parker spend one year in prison on her felony-charge conviction of assisting a prisoner to escape. She was facing a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The jurors' visit stemmed from another inmate's trial testimony that he saw Bobbi Parker get into her family van in 1994 with convicted murderer Randolph Franklin Dial and drive away from the prison while he was pulling weeds nearby. The jurors were granted their request to see the former Parker property as part of their deliberations.

The media were barred from accompanying the jury to the site, although the judge did not explain his reasoning.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys went on the visit, but were kept away from the jurors. Deliberations began on Monday after more than three months of testimony, more than 80 witnesses and more than 800 pieces of evidence.

Parker's defense attorney, Garvin Isaacs, questioned the inmate's honesty and said the photos and video of the property jurors had seen could be misleading.

"If you're there and you have firsthand experience, you don't look at a photograph that has a zoom lens," Isaacs told ABC Oklahoma affiliate KOCO. "Anytime a zoom lens is used, as you guys know, there's a distortion of perception."

Randy Parker was working as a deputy warden at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in 1994 when his wife and Dial, an inmate serving a life sentence for murder, disappeared. The Parkers lived in a house on the prison property, and prosecutors claim that Bobbi Parker met Dial in a prison pottery class that was held in the Parkers' garage.

It took 11 years for investigators to track down Parker and Dial, but they were eventually found in 2005 living in a trailer on a chicken farm in Campti, Texas, under assumed names.

During the trial, Parker's attorney argued that there was no relationship between the two and that Dial kidnapped Parker. But prosecutors said they found photos, emails, handwritten letters and condoms in the trailer that indicated the two were a willing couple.

Both Parker and Dial maintained throughout questioning that he had drugged, kidnapped and held her hostage, but prosecutors aren't buying that story. They believe Parker was in love with Dial and helped him escape.

Dial died in 2007 but maintained until his death that he had kidnapped Parker and held her hostage.

Randy and Bobbi Parker are still married, and Randy said during testimony that he still loved his wife.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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