Entries in Inmate (8)


Escaped Double Murderer Eluded Bloodhounds, Choppers in NC

WTVD/ABC News(TILLERY, N.C.) -- Bloodhounds that tracked an escaped double murderer were able to follow his scent for only a short distance, making authorities fear on Monday that the convict could have been picked up by an accomplice and could be "hundreds of miles away."

James Ladd, 51, slipped away from the Tillery Correctional Center, a minimum security prison farm, on Sunday morning while doing farm work.  Authorities found his abandoned tractor at 10 a.m., said Keith Acree, a North Carolina prison spokesperson.

A helicopter flew over rural Tillery, N.C., Sunday night searching for the convicted murderer, who was given three consecutive life sentences in 1981.  Bloodhounds also assisted in the ground search, however Acree said they were only able to follow Ladd's scent for a short distance.

"At this point it's been 24 hours, so if he got a ride he could be hundreds of miles away at this point," Acree said.

Ladd was convicted of robbing and fatally shooting two men on a farm 31 years ago.  His prison behavior included only minor infractions, most recently for unauthorized tobacco use, and had won Ladd assignment to the farm, which allowed him to work outside of the prison's walls.

"He's been a good worker on the farm, a very trouble-free inmate," Acree said.

Ladd is now considered dangerous and should not be approached, Acree said.  Anyone who spots the inmate is instead asked to contact local authorities.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pregnant Inmate Sues After Being Forced to Wear Shackles During Labor

Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center(LAS VEGAS) -- Valerie Nabors gave birth to her fourth child, a healthy baby girl, last October, but within 10 minutes of delivery, she charges, her ankles were shackled to her hospital bed and she was not allowed to walk.

Nabors, a prison inmate at the time, complains her legs were shackled during labor, much to doctors' dismay, and against Nevada state law.

Nabors filed a lawsuit on June 20 against the Nevada Department of Corrections claiming cruel and unusual punishment.

Nabors, from Clark County, Nev., was an inmate at the Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center (FMWCC) on Oct. 19, 2011 when she went into labor, according to the lawsuit.  Nabors served a 12- to 30-month sentence from January 2011 to January 2012 for attempting to steal about $300 worth of casino chips.

The lawsuit was filed in federal district court by attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union.  Nabors is suing the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC), its director and several top officers, as well as officials of the FMWCC.

"Ms. Nabors suffered severe and extreme emotional distress as a result of being shackled during the delivery of her child," the lawsuit says.

The Nevada Department of Corrections has no comment regarding the lawsuit at this time, a spokesman told ABC News.

"I think we have the right to expect more as women and the right to expect more from society," Staci Pratt of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada told ABC News.

Nabors, 30, was taken to the University Medical Center at 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 19.  As the ambulance was pulling out of the main gates of the prison, Sgt. Daniel Tracey "came running out of the facility" with shackles which were closed around Nabors' ankles, the lawsuit says.

According to Nevada state law, no restraints of any kind may be used on an inmate who is in labor, delivering her baby or recovering from delivery unless she presents a serious harm to herself or others or presents a substantial flight risk.

"She was not considered a flight risk," Pratt, who described her client as a "non-violent offender," told ABC News.  "She was not considered a danger."

Nabors is seeking damages for the punishment.  She was released from Jean Conservation Camp on May 11, 2012.  She has returned to the community and is taking care of her daughter, Pratt said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Death Row Woman Could Get New Trial Over 'Dropped Baby' Evidence

(TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas) -- A Texas woman who was convicted of killing a 3-month-old baby but claimed she merely dropped him could be released from her cell on death row and receive a new trial.

Texas Judge Jon Wisser has submitted a formal recommendation to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to toss the conviction of Cathy Lee Henderson for the murder of 3-month-old boy in 1994.

Henderson, now 55, was found guilty of killing her infant neighbor, Brandon Baugh, while she babysat, and then burying the body in a wine cooler box 60 miles from the home and fleeing the state. Henderson maintained throughout her trial that she accidentally dropped the boy on her concrete floor, from four-and-a-half feet in the air, while swinging him around to try and calm him.

Dr. Roberto Bayardo, the Travis County, Texas, medical examiner, refuted that claim, saying that the injuries sustained by the baby would not have been possible from that height.

"The infant would have had to fall from the height higher than a two-story building," he concluded, and ruled the death a homicide, according to brief filed in the Criminal Appeals Court by Wisser.

But new research suggests that Bayardo's conclusion may not be accurate, and Bayardo testified at a 2007 hearing that he would not have ruled the same way if he had details on the new research at the time of the trial.

"I think if you took away Dr. Bayardo's testimony at the first trial that the jurors would not have convicted Ms. Henderson," Wisser told ABC News affiliate KVUE.

"I believe it was very difficult for the jurors to separate the death of the infant from Ms. Henderson's subsequent behavior," said Wisser.

Henderson came within two days of her death sentence in 2007 before receiving a last-minute reprieve based on the new scientific evidence and Bayardo's change of opinion. In the intervening years, Wisser has toiled over whether Henderson's verdict should be tossed, he told KVUE.

"In the 16-17 years (since), things have changed," Wisser said. "We have more scientific proof and evidence that I thought a jury should have the opportunity to consider."

Wisser's recommendation will land on the desks of the nine Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judges, who will issue a ruling sometime in the "next few months," according to the court.

The judges will either deny Wisser's recommendation or set a date for a hearing on the matter, in which prosecutors and defense attorneys could argue for a new trial. The court can either release Henderson from prison immediately while the two sides prepare for the hearing, or continue holding her in jail until a final decision is reached.

Eryn Baugh, the father of the infant that was killed, is dismayed at the development, according to KVUE.

"It is extremely difficult," Baugh told the station. "We came within two days of having this over with and having her executed and getting on with our lives. Now we are back in a courtroom and hearing what is basically a bunch of junk science that is basically going on over the death of my son."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Escaped Inmate on Crime Spree in Arkansas

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(POCAHONTAS, Ark.) -- An inmate who escaped from custody four days ago is on a crime spree in Pocahontas, Ark., where police say he stole an officer's gun, threatened the cop's wife and shot his dog.

James Lundry, 39, who was being held on felony charges of improperly using food stamps, escaped from a work detail with other inmates during a lunch break on Friday, stealing a vehicle and heading to Pocahontas, according to Pocahontas Police Chief Cecil Tackett.

Since Friday, police and civilians have had multiple run-ins with Lundry, who has previously been arrested multiple times in Pocahontas on misdemeanor charges.  Lundry is now considered armed and very dangerous, Tackett said.

On Sunday, a caretaker of an abandoned house in the town found Lundry squatting inside, and told police it seemed he had been there for a couple of days.  Police used scent-tracking dogs to follow Lundry's path from a back window to a parked vehicle.  Police believe he entered the vehicle and left, leaving behind stolen items.

Around 11 p.m. Sunday night, Lundry entered the home of a police officer who was on duty elsewhere in the town, and took a .40 caliber Glock pistol, ammunition and a tactical ballistics vest, Tackett said.  He then confronted the officer's wife at the house, and brandished the gun at her before firing three rounds into and killing the couple's pet Pit Bull.

Lundry escaped using a vehicle he had stolen at a local funeral home, police said.

A helicopter with heat-seeking technology and scent dogs on the ground were used Sunday night to track Lundry after he fled the officer's house.  But the helicopter was forced to land after only minutes because of weather problems, Tackett said.

Police are searching abandoned properties and guarding parts of the town in preparation for an expected run-in, Tackett noted.

Lundry is 5'11", weighs 140 pounds, and has multiple tattoos on both of his arms and a teardrop tattoo below his right eye.  Police are searching for a Pontiac Montana minivan that he may be driving.

Lundry now faces a bevy of felony charges from the crime spree, Tackett said. 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tennessee Death Row Inmate's Escape Plot Foiled

Tennessee Department of Correction(KNOXVILLE, Tenn.) -- Authorities in Tennessee have foiled an escape plot by the state's only female death row inmate.

Two men, including one former prison guard, have also been arrested in connection with the plan.

Justin Heflin and Donald Kohut were arrested this week and charged with planning the escape of Christa Gail Pike.

Pike, 36, was sentenced to death in March of 1996 for murdering 19-year-old Colleen Slemmer in Knoxville, in 1995. She is also serving time for attempting to murder a fellow inmate in 2004, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Today, all three are behind bars.

"Interrupting a plot like this before the escape is attempted is crucial to keeping Tennesseans safe," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Mark Gwyn said in a news release. "The last thing law enforcement wants is a dangerous fugitive on the streets."

Heflin, 23, worked as a correctional officer at the Tennessee Prison for Women until he was terminated on March 5, 2012. In February, a grand jury indicted him on charges of bribery, official misconduct, conspiracy to commit escape and facilitation to commit escape. Heflin is currently being held in Davidson County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

The third member of the alleged escape-planning trio was Kohut, 34. He met Heflin on one of his frequent trips to the prison to visit Pike. He was arrested Monday morning and is being held at the Hunterdon County Department of Corrections on a $250,000 bond. He has been charged with counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit escape.

Authorities initiated the investigation after receiving information about the escape plan. They found contraband evidence within the jail and discovered that Heflin might be involved. The investigation revealed that he had been receiving gifts and money for his assistance in plotting the escape, the release said.

"Our mission of operating safe and secure prisons is our main focus and we will continue to examine and follow every lead to accomplish our mission," Commissioner Derrick D. Schofield said in a statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Supersized Inmate Files Hefty Lawsuit Against Jail

Kevin Horan/Stone(NEW YORK) -- A 400-pound inmate wants the New York City Department of Corrections to pay a hefty price for forcing him to wear the same clothes he was arrested in throughout his one-year jail sentence.

“No one has issued me institutional clothing or made any attempt to measure me,” Elias Diaz, 55, wrote in a handwritten lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, which asks for $1 million in damages.

Diaz, who wears a size 7X large, said he wore the same sweats and T-shirt every day until his release on Dec. 30, 2011. He was in the Rikers Island jail serving a sentence for criminal possession of a weapon.

He alleged that during his one-year sentence, requests for his own prison-issued garb were repeatedly ignored, causing him “undue stress and mental anguish.”

“I had the displeasure of being threatened with an infraction because I was not wearing approved garments,” he wrote of his experience in the prison mess hall.

Officials made an exception and allowed Diaz’s family to send him clothing; however, the packages were rejected for various reasons, he wrote.

Department of Correction spokeswoman Sharman Stein said the city has not seen the lawsuit, but added, “There’s an established grievance process, which the inmate new well about. He never filed a grievance.”
In his complaint, Diaz wrote, “Upon my release I will be seeking profetional [sic] therapy. The therapy is going to be expensive.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Escaped Inmate Hunting for Two People in Maine, Police Say

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ALFRED, Maine) -- An escaped inmate described as armed, dangerous and seeking revenge is hunting for two people in Maine, authorities said Monday.

David Glenn Hobson, 33, has eluded a dragnet since he escaped from a New Hampshire prison on Thursday.

"He's holding a grudge against two individuals," Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland told "We warned them early and we believe they're in a safe place."

McCausland would not reveal any details about who the two people are or what they may have done to anger Hobson. Federal, state and county authorities are participating in the manhunt.

There have been no confirmed sightings of Hobson but he is believed to be in the vicinity of the towns of Alfred and Sanford where his relatives live.

Hobson's father Glenn Hobson was arrested Friday night for a charge of hindering apprehension. McCausland said he left clothing, a blanket and medical supplies outside his home for his son to pick up, but not a weapon. Police believe he obtained a weapon from somewhere else. Glenn Hobson has since been released after posting a $500 bail.

Hobson's mother Louann Hobson picked up the phone on Monday and confirmed that it was her before hanging up abruptly when ABC News called.

David Hobson has several relatives in Alfred, Maine, which has led authorities to believe he may be in the area. Police are warning residents in the area to be cautious and aware of their surroundings and to report any suspicious behavior.

Hobson escaped prison by scaling a 12-foot fence topped with razor wire while he was in the prison's recreational area, according to Jason Johnson, the superintendent for the Carroll County House of Corrections in Ossipee, N.H.

"We did recover a bloody shirt outside the jail and the [recovered] stolen vehicle had some blood in it as well," Johnson said.

Hobson was being held in the facility for burglary charges and his pre-trial was scheduled for later this month.

On Saturday evening, the Maine State Police recovered a Toyota Highlander SUV that Hobson had allegedly stole. It was found in a heavily wooded area of Maine. Bloody clothing found inside the car has yet to be processed, but McCausland said authorities believe the clothing to be Hobson's.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


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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