Entries in Inmates (14)


Idaho Inmates Sue Booze Companies, Blame Them for Being in Jail

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Five inmates at a jail in Boise, Idaho, have filed a billion dollar lawsuit, claiming they wouldn't be behind bars if it wasn't for booze.

The Idaho Statesman reports Cory A. Baugh, Jeremy J. Brown, Keith Allen Brown, Woodrow J. Grant and Steven J. Thompson -- who all were sentenced to jail for crimes ranging from murder to selling drugs -- say manufacturers like Miller Brewing Company and Anheuser-Busch, as well as wine makers like E. and J. Gallo, should have warned them their products can be addictive.

The inmates, who don't have a lawyer, are asking for warning labels on alcohol products, and a billion dollars in damages.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Chicago Prison Escape: One of Two Bank Robbers Arrested

Kevin Horan/Stone(CHICAGO) -- One of the two Chicago bank robbers who escaped from a high-rise federal jail in Chicago this week using a makeshift rope to rappel down the building has been arrested.

Joseph "Jose" Banks, 37, was arrested late Thursday around 11:30 p.m. local time without incident in Chicago, according to an FBI news release.

Agents and officers from the Chicago FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force, along with officers from the Chicago Police Department, made the arrest.  Banks was unarmed.

Authorities are still looking for Kenneth Conley, who escaped the Metropolitan Correctional Center with Banks sometime early Tuesday morning.

Banks and Conley, 38, were last seen Monday at 10 p.m. during a prison head count at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago's Loop district.  The two borrowed a move from the film Escape From Alcatraz by stuffing their beds with clothes in the shape of bodies.

The men then broke the window of their cell at the federal prison, shimmying out a hole only inches wide, and scaled 17 stories down the side of the building, all the while holding onto a rope of sheets and towels taken from the prison.  The rope was strong enough to support the two, one weighing 165 pounds the other 185 pounds.

At 7 a.m. the next morning, as employees arrived at work, they noticed the sheets left dangling from the building and discovered that Conley and Banks were missing.

Investigators said surveillance cameras captured Banks and Conley getting into a taxi minutes after their brazen escape.  They entered the taxi at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Congress Street, just blocks away from the jail.

The men then showed up at the home of Sandy Conley, Kenneth Conley's mother, in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, Ill., on Tuesday morning, only five hours after they escaped.

"He was in the house for two minutes," Sandy Conley told ABC News on Thursday.  "I can't tell you if he was armed.  I made him get out."

Banks, nicknamed "the second-hand bandit" because of the used clothing disguises he wore in several robberies, was convicted of armed robbery last week.  His parting words to his judge, Rebecca Pallmeyer, were, "I'll be seeking retribution as well as damages ... you'll hear from me."

Conley had been in jail for several years.

Pallmeyer and others who presided over the men's cases have reportedly been offered protection.  The FBI and U.S. Marshals were offering a combined reward of $60,000 to find the inmates and bring them back into custody.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bank Robbers Escape Chicago Jail Using Rope Made of Sheets, Blankets

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A manhunt is underway after two bank robbers escaped from their Chicago jail cell by breaking through the window and scaling down the building with a makeshift rope of bed sheets and blankets.

Joseph "Jose" Banks and Kenneth Conley were last spotted Tuesday morning, 25 miles away in Tinley Park, Ill., at Conley's mother's home, according to ABC News affiliate WLS-TV.

An upstairs neighbor told landlord Ron Bailey that Banks and Conley showed up at the home and Conley's mother took a gun away from him before they left, WLS reported.

The FBI stormed the house but believe they missed the escapees by only a few hours.  FBI spokesperson Joan Hyde said the two bank robbers should be considered "armed and dangerous."

Banks, 37, and Conley, 38, were being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal jail, in downtown Chicago.  Police say the two men, who were cellmates, were last seen in the jail Monday at 10 p.m. during a head count.

In an FBI affidavit filed Tuesday night, authorities say sometime after the head count the two men stuffed their beds with clothes in the shape of bodies and broke the window inside their cell.  They squeezed through the window and scaled down more than 20 stories using rope made of bed sheets, towels and blankets.

To cover up their escape, Banks and Conley made fake bars to put over the five-inch wide window and placed the actual metal bars inside a mattress, according to the affidavit.

Police did not realize the men had escaped until approximately 7 a.m. Tuesday when arriving employees noticed the rope that led the men to freedom still dangling from the building.

Four elementary schools and a middle school were put on a soft lockdown and all after school activities were canceled after police got word the escapees were spotted in Tinley Park, WLS reported.

Hyde said that the trail has since gone cold, and that no one should take matters into their own hands if Banks and Conley are spotted.

Banks is a notorious bank robber known as the Second-Hand Bandit because he wore used clothes during his heists.  He was convicted last week of robbing two banks and attempting to rob two others.  Court records show that he stole less than $600,000 and more than $500,000 of it is still missing.

Banks represented himself in court, had to be restrained at one point and vowed he would seek retribution, telling the judge, "You'll hear from me," WLS reported.

Conley was scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 10 after he pleaded guilty of robbing $4,000 from a bank, according to WLS.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Texas Executes 10th Inmate in 2012

Texas Department of Criminal Justice(HUNTSVILLE, Texas) -- Convicted murderer Jonathan Green became the 10th Texas inmate to be put to death this year when he was given a lethal injection Wednesday.

Green, 44, was convicted of kidnapping and killing a 12-year-old girl from her home in 2000. He took the girl to his home, strangled and sexually assaulted her, and then buried her in his backyard.

Detectives arrived and questioned him, then left to get a search warrant. During that time he dug up and moved the body inside his house, where detectives found it when they returned. He then denied involvement in the killing, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Wednesday, his legal team made pleas to the 5th District Court of Appeals to stay Green's execution, delaying the time of death from 6 p.m. until close to midnight, when his execution order would have expired. The appeals failed, however, and Green was given the lethal injection around 10:30 p.m.

Green told the warden that he would not have any final words before his death Wednesday night, but soon changed his mind, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"I'm an innocent man. I never killed anyone. Y'all are killing an innocent man," he said, and then looked down at the injection in his arm. "It's hurting me bad."

He was declared dead around 10:45 p.m.

Copyrigh 2012 ABC News Radio


Police: Arkansas Escaped Inmate's Mother, Brother Helped in Jailbreak

Quincy Vernard Stewart (L) and Cortez Rashod Hooper (R). Miller County Sheriff's Office(TEXARKANA, Ark.) -- An Arkansas inmate who sawed through jail bars and escaped with a friend Monday received help from his mother and brother, who furnished him with a hacksaw and cellphone, according to police.

The mother of Quincy Stewart, Charlene Stewart, 55, was arrested and charged Tuesday with furnishing prohibited articles into a detention facility and furnishing implements of escape, following an investigation that led police to believe she supplied her son with the hacksaw and phone.

Quincy Stewart, 36, and Cortez Hooper, 23, are believed to have used the saw's blades to cut through bars on the jail's windows, and then use a mattress cover to lower themselves to the ground before scaling fences and escaping into the woods.

Quincy Stewart's brother, Edward George Dailey, 34, was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with furnishing implements of escape.

"Both of them conspired and did pass on a cellphone and hacksaw blades to Quincy Stewart," Miller County Sheriff's chief deputy Duke Schofield said on Thursday.

Police and the U.S. Marshals Service are still combing the area, following leads and interviewing acquaintances of the two men to try and locate them.  Authorities believe they were picked up by a vehicle near the jail after they escaped and are still in the Texarkana area.

"Anybody found in the company of either one of these two will go to jail," Schofield said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alleged Killers Sought After Jail Break

Miller County Sheriff's Office(MILLER COUNTY, Ark.) -- Two alleged killers who broke out of an Arkansas jail early Monday morning are the subject of a manhunt Tuesday.

Sheriff's officers in Miller County, Ark., are hunting for Quincy Vernard Stewart, 36, and Cortez Rashod Hooper, 23, who used blades from a hacksaw to saw off three bars of a jail window and escape sometime between 3:15 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Monday.

The pair rammed through a glass window and used a mattress cover tied to some of the bars to lower themselves closer to the ground before jumping. They then made it through two fences, one topped with razor wire, and crawled under the other before running into the woods, Chief Dep. Duke Schofield.

Hooper was being held on first-degree murder charges and Stewart capital murder, reportedly in another county.

Schofield said that police dogs tracked the scent of the two men through the woods and to the highway, where the dogs lost them and police believe the men were picked up by a vehicle. Jail uniforms were found in the street up the road, with no scent trail around them, leading investigators to speculate that one of the men dropped the uniform out of the vehicle.

Police are combing through addresses and phone numbers of the men's family and friends, including acquaintances they might have known "from past adventures out in the streets," Schofield said.

They are also investigating how the men obtained the hacksaw blades.

"Somebody got the hacksaw blades to them, and we don't know if they were handed off during a transport, or during a court appearance, or what, but there is an internal investigation into that and we think we know. We're just trying to get enough proof," Schofield said.

The men were checked on by police guards at 3:15 a.m., but were discovered missing during the next round of checks at 4:30 a.m., he said.

Police believe they are still in the Texarkana area on the border of Arkansas and Texas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kansas Murderer Caught After Jailbreak; One Inmate Still At Large

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(RUSSELL, Kan.) -- A double murderer who escaped from a Kansas jail has been recaptured, authorities said on Friday.

Santos Carrera-Morales was taken into custody in Russell, Kansas, at 11:38 p.m. on Thursday, according to Jeremy Barclay, spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Carrera-Morales, 22, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in 2008.  No immediate details were available regarding the apprehension.

Eric James, 22, is the last of four inmates to remain at large after the Wednesday morning jailbreak.  James was convicted on three counts of aggravated burglary and one count of kidnapping, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Authorities are cautioning the public not to approach James, who is considered armed and dangerous.

The four inmates escaped from a holding cell at Ottawa County Jail in Minneapolis, Kan., early Wednesday morning after complaining to guards about a broken water line above their cell.  While one guard went to check on the situation, the men were then able to overpower the lone remaining guard using homemade knives, Ottawa County Sheriff Keith Coleman told The Salina Journal.  The second guard returned to help fend off the inmates.  Both guards suffered minor injuries, he said.

One inmate was quickly apprehended.  The second inmate, Drew Wade, turned himself in to authorities 240 miles away in North Platte, Neb., authorities said on Wednesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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


Supreme Court Struggles with Case on Prison Strip Searches

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Supreme Court justices grappled Wednesday with the use of strip searches by prison officials for newly admitted inmates charged with minor crimes.

At issue is the case of Albert Florence, a New Jersey man who was mistakenly arrested, hauled to two different jails, stripped searched and released six days later after all charges were dropped.

Florence is suing the jails that detained him, arguing that his constitutional rights were violated when he was subjected to strip searching without a reasonable suspicion that he was bringing contraband into the jail.  He argues that detainees that are placed in the general prison population for minor offenses should not be subject to such an invasion of privacy.

During an hour-long discussion, the justices seemed to struggle with drawing a line between an inmate’s privacy rights and the interest prisons have to keep contraband out of the facilities.

Thomas C. Goldstein, a lawyer for Florence, said his client was directed at one jail to remove all his clothing, open his mouth, lift his tongue, hold out his arms, turn around and lift his genitals.  Goldstein called it an intrusion on his client’s “individual dignity” and said prison officials should only conduct such searches when they believe the inmate could be carrying contraband.

But Justice Anthony Kennedy wondered how prison officials could determine such a suspicion.

“It seems to me,” Kennedy said, “that you risk compromising … individual dignity if you say we have reasonable suspicion as to you, but not as to you. … You are setting the detainee up for a classification that may be questioned at the time and will be seen as an affront based on the person’s race, based on what he said or she said to the officers coming in.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked if corrections officers would have to do research on intake into whether the inmate was dangerous.  Justice Kennedy was also concerned that some inmates who were at a jail for minor offenses might, in fact, appreciate the security of an “institution where everyone has been searched.”

Carter G. Phillips argued on behalf of the jails that held Florence.  He urged the Court to show deference to the “good faith judgment of our jailers.”

Justice Stephen Breyer asked Phillips about the fact that there are not a lot of statistics showing that minor offenders are carrying contraband into the jails.  Phillips said that it could mean that the fear of a search served as a deterrent.

The Obama administration is siding with the prisons in the case and urging the court to allow a blanket policy to strip search all arrestees set to enter the general prison population.

“When you have a rule that treats everyone the same,” Justice Department lawyer Nicole A. Saharsky argued, “you don’t have folks that are singled out.  You don’t have any security gaps.”

The case should be decided in the next several months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Georgia County Considers Using Inmates as Firefighters

Photodisc/Thinkstock(WOODBINE, Ga.) -- A Georgia county looking to save some money is considering using inmates from a local prison to fill out its fire department ranks rather than hiring trained firefighters.

Camden County Administrator Steve Howard told ABC News Tuesday that the Board of Commissioners is looking at a proposal that would use inmates from a nearby prison for firefighting, though he noted that no official proposal had been made nor any vote taken.

The plan, according to the Florida Times Union, would include putting two inmates in each of three existing fire houses,  which could allegedly help save the town $500,000 in fire insurance costs by boosting the town’s fire coverage.  Howard declined to discuss the specifics of the proposal with ABC News.

Under the model used by neighboring Sumter County, the inmates would not be guarded by prison staff while at the firehouse, but instead would be overseen by fire department supervisors who would receive “correctional training.”

The inmates chosen to be part of the program would be low-level criminals, according to the report, with convictions for robbery, theft, or drug charges.  They will be available during all shifts to help fight fires, unlike paid firefighters, who are given time off after working 24-hour shifts, the report said.

As a result, the county could save on the typical costs of about $6,000 to train a firefighter, $2,000 to outfit him, and about $40,000 to pay his salary and benefits.  Camden County’s public safety director said it would cost $10,000 to $15,000 to feed and outfit each inmate, install security measures such as surveillance systems, and provide correctional training for traditional firefighters, the newspaper reported.

The inmates in question have professed support of the plan, according to one commissioner.

“I’ve been told these inmates are very enthusiastic about being a firefighter,” Commissioner Jimmy Starline told the paper.  “It’s an opportunity to break that cycle.  This is not like a chain gang.  Life at a fire station could be a whole lot more pleasant than life in jail.”

But the firefighters are not as happy.  Stuart Sullivan objected to the commission’s plan, telling them it would tarnish the department.

“If you vote to bring these inmates into our working environment, you jeopardize not only the employees’ well-being, but the safety of our citizens,” he said.

Mark Treglio, a spokesman for the National Association of Firefighters, said the proposal could compromise the safety of firefighters, the trust between the department and the community it serves, and the privacy and safety of homeowners.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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