COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Four prison workers have been disciplined over the escape last year of a convicted school shooter and two other inmates, the state announced Wednesday, citing the failure to fix a broken security camera and the wrong kind of lock put on a maintenance area door, among other lapses.
The punishments, including a letter of reprimand and short suspensions spent working without pay, were the last sets of discipline issued following the September escape by the three inmates, including T.J. Lane, who shot and killed three high school students near Cleveland in 2012.
The prisons agency previously reassigned the warden at Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution and demoted the deputy warden.
The inmates got inside a prison maintenance area and spent several months building a makeshift ladder they used to escape in September, according to the state’s final report on the escape.
The inmates climbed the ladder to get on top of the prison’s administration building and then jumped about 15 feet to freedom. All three were caught within hours of the escape.
A security camera at the unit where the escape happened wasn’t working because of an earlier lightning strike, and some lighting near the prison needed to be repaired, the report said.
A technician received a one-day suspension for failing to report he hadn’t fixed the camera, according to a Department of Rehabilitation and Correction letter issued Tuesday.
A maintenance supervisor received a two-day suspension for failing to remove items from a maintenance access area later used in the escape and for ordering the wrong kind of lock placed on the maintenance area door, according to a letter issued Feb. 2. A maintenance repair worker received a one-day suspension for putting the incorrect lock on the door, according to a Feb. 2 letter.
Finally, a guard received a one-day suspension for exercising “poor judgment” in carrying out his duties, including failing to escort inmates into the recreation yard, conducting regular 30-minute rounds of the yard and closing and securing a door leading to the yard, according to a Feb. 3 letter.
Lane, who pleaded guilty in the Chardon High School shooting, who wore a T-shirt with the word “killer” scrawled on it at his sentencing hearing last year. He also made an obscene gesture and cursed at his victims’ families. He was captured in a wooded area about six hours after the Sept. 11 prison break.
Another inmate was found within minutes just outside the prison. The other was discovered hiding under a boat across the road nine hours after the escape.
The state has since repaired lighting at the prison, updated the alarm system and added razor ribbon on top of the administration building and other areas.
Lane, 20, wasn’t charged with escape because he has no chance to be released and the families of his victims didn’t want him to have an opportunity to mock them again, a prosecutor said.
One inmate, who also is serving a life sentence, was not charged with escape, either. The other inmate, already serving time for robbery, burglary and kidnapping, was sentenced to five additional years.
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