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Prison guard hit with felony charges in New York prison escape

It is unusual to see prison employees assisting convicted murderers to escape from prison. In the case of the two escaped felons from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, the rare situation exists where two persons are now charged in connection with the escape. Felony charges were just announced by authorities against the second employee, a 57-year-old male prison guard. He was charged with promoting prison contraband, tampering with evidence and official misconduct.

The man was charged with taking frozen meat embedded with tools and hacksaws to the area where the inmates' cell was located. He allegedly acted at the request of the other defendant, a 51-year-old female, who was the tailor shop instructor who allegedly tried to help the two men escape. The male guard denies that he knew about any contraband. 

It does not appear that either of the defendants are technically charged as accomplices in the escape itself. That would seem to indicate that authorities believe that their involvement was limited to providing the tools. If the prison guard just arrested can prove that he did not know the meat contained contraband, he may have a good defense to the charges. That would depend on whether he is charged with additional actions beyond transporting the meat.                                        

It is unclear how the authorities believe that the guard, who worked in the honor block of the New York prison for 28 years, was guilty of tampering with evidence. That would seem to require that he would have taken actions to hide evidence after the escape occurred. In any event, his attorney's comments to the press indicated the man's belief that he did not commit the felony charges and that he looks forward to returning to his job.

Source: CBS News, "Prison guard arrested in connection with escaped killers", June 24, 2015

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