24 September 2007

TDCJ Officer Killed In Escape


Officer dead as two inmates escape Texas prison

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — Two inmates working in prison field overpowered a guard Monday and ran her over in a stolen pickup truck, killing the woman, prison officials said.

The inmates, in prison for murder and attempted capital murder, were both recaptured. One was apprehended within an hour. The second was caught hiding in a tree about two hours later, after a manhunt that included a police helicopter, Stetson-hatted lawmen on horseback and bloodhounds.

Jerry Martin, 37, had been imprisoned since 1997 and was serving a 50-year sentence for attempted murder, was found in the tree after dogs picked up his scent, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said.

"He will be facing felony escape charges at the very least" Lyons said. She said Martin did not appear to be hurt.

Martin and John Ray Falk, serving a life sentence since 1986 for a Matagorda County murder, were working outside the Wynne Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice just north of Huntsville on Monday morning.

They overpowered the officer about 10:30 a.m. in the field along Interstate 45, took her weapons and stole a Huntsville city truck that was nearby, department spokesman Jason Clark said. At least one shotgun the officer was carrying had not been accounted for, Lyons said.

"They ran over the officer," Clark said. "We can confirm she did die."

The guard was identified as Susan Canfield, 59, had been a corrections officer for seven years, Lyons said. A hometown wasn't immediately available.

Lyons said that after the inmates took the truck, they at some point stole another vehicle and ditched it, too.

Martin was captured in a wooded area along I-45 about a mile or two south of where the officer was killed. The search for him included numerous state and local law enforcement agencies.

Based on his good disciplinary record in prison, Martin was classified as a minimum security inmate and assigned to do field work outside the prison under the supervision of officers.

"In this case, obviously, something went wrong," Lyons said.

The Wynne Unit, established in 1883, is one of the oldest in the Texas prison system. It holds about 2,600 inmates of various custody levels. The unit is about 80 miles north of Houston and shares about 1,500 acres with two other prisons that straddle the main freeway between Houston and Dallas.

If this happened at a private facility, there would be many armchair critics regarding the death of the corrections officer. But I am bigger than that. You see, as a private officer with public officer experience, I KNOW that we are all on the same side. I hope those two inmates burn in hell. My prayers are for the dead officer, her family, and her friends.


Myanderings said...

My prayers are with all of the brave officers who lost one of their own.

Debs said...

I hate those assholes!

They took her life and for what? They are already in prison...and have years added on as punishment? Big Deal. They need to let her husband have a go at them in a cell. He can even have a loaded weapon. Free this world of these dick heads!