3 Killers’ Attempted Escape Cut Short

TUESDAY, FEB. 6, 1996

Three killers had cut through a foot-thick jailhouse wall and were climbing down a rope made from braided bedsheets. Then a fellow inmate - possibly angry about being left behind - cut their rope with a razor blade and they tumbled to the ground.

One convict suffered broken vertebrae and was hospitalized. The others were treated for rope burns or cuts and returned to the Lew Sterrett Justice Center.

“We found the razor blade near where they anchored the bedsheet. It was a clean cut,” sheriff’s spokesman Jim Ewell said. Inmates are allowed to have the blades to shave.

Investigators questioned inmates and guards Monday for clues to who cut the neatly braided sheets and why. Four other inmates shared the convicts’ cellblock on the fifth floor.

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