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Prisoner At Penitentiary Thwarted In Escape Attempt

Thu., July 18, 1996

A man serving a lengthy sentence for murder stole a Washington State Penitentiary employee’s truck and rammed it into a fence in an unsuccessful escape attempt, authorities said Wednesday.

John Lamb, 31, serving a 50-year sentence for a Clark County murder conviction, was caught Tuesday morning after the truck became undriveable when it hit the prison’s interior fence, spokeswoman Mary Christiansen said.

It was the first serious escape attempt at the prison in at least a decade, she said.

It is not known how Lamb got the knife he pulled on Michael Roy about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday as Roy was delivering supplies. Roy, an employee of the Correctional Industries Division, was not injured.

Lamb allegedly demanded the keys to the truck and then rammed it into a north perimeter fence. The fence was damaged, but it held so firmly that it damaged the truck.

The penitentiary closed the Correctional Industries Division, which makes license plates, metal furniture and other products, while the investigation is completed and the fence is repaired, Christiansen said.



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