Thursday, February 14, 2008

Escapee caught

Thank goodness he was caught before anything else happened. Go ahead and add felony escape charges to his already 5 concurrent life sentences.

Rapist who fled from jail captured
John MacCormack: Express-News

After a week on the lam, with scores of law enforcement officers in South Texas looking for him, twice-convicted rapist Abel Morin Jr. was back behind bars Wednesday, facing a charge of escape.

Morin, 26, who had escaped from Jim Hogg County Jail in Hebbronville, was captured without incident late Tuesday shortly after a local police officer spotted him in his hometown of San Diego, west of Corpus Christi.
Morin was being held in Duval County Jail in Alice.

"It's a good day today. It's a big burden off our shoulders," said Jim Hogg County Sheriff Kiko Alarcon, from whose jail Morin had escaped late Feb. 5.
"Mainly, we caught him before he did something else. From Day One, our concern was for the community."

In a stunning security lapse, Morin had dashed out of the jail in Hebbronville shortly after being transferred there by Duval County deputies. He was being moved by a jailer from a holding cell to a regular jail cell, unhandcuffed and unshackled.

A day earlier, Morin had been sentenced to five life terms on convictions for rape, burglary and kidnapping involving a mother and daughter in San Diego. He had already served five years in prison for raping a child in nearby Alice.

Morin had been moved to the Jim Hogg lockup as part of a problem-prisoner exchange with Duval County. Early accounts had Morin bolting through one unlocked door, but Alarcon acknowledged Wednesday that the breach had been far worse.

He said Morin had run through two defective interior doors and a wire-enclosed area where prisoners are unloaded from vehicles.

According to the sheriff, the interior doors had not latched properly and the garage door on the "sally port" was open because it was inoperable.

"When you go through those doors, they should close and lock, but our jail is kind of old," he said. "Our sally port door had been broken, and we had been trying to get it fixed."

Since the escape, the garage door has been repaired and the two interior steel doors have been lubricated and adjusted so they now lock automatically when they close, Alarcon said.

And he said the jailer involved had been reprimanded for not noticing the unlocked interior door.
"The best thing is that no one got hurt. It's a lesson. It's an eye-opener," Alarcon said of the escape.