100 Yard Dash, T.J. Lane Captured Shortly After Prison Escape

T.J. Lane made it about 100 yards away from his prison fence before being recaptured by prison officials. The quick arrest comes as a relief to the people of Ohio. Lane was the abhorrent school shooter who took the lives of three high school students and wounded three others.

At about 7:30 p.m., Lane and two other convicts climbed over the wall of their prison, Allen Oakwood Correctional Facility. One of the trio, named Lindsey Bruce, was captured immediately, while Lane and 45-year-old Clifford Earl Opperud remained at large for several hours.

Demetrius Hewlin, father of one of the victims, was furious at news of the escape,

“This cannot be happening. This guy killed my son and killed three kids. What type of system are they running here?”

But prison officials, working with the Highway Patrol, quickly redeemed themselves. Using helicopters and infrared detectors, law enforcement officials locked down the perimeter. At about 1:20 a.m. Friday, T.J. Lane was back to serving his life sentence.

The warden, Kevin Jonesm was also vented his frustration with the escape at a press conference,

“Obviously I am not happy that this happened. No warden in my position would be happy that this happened, but the facts are that I am happy that he is back in custody.”

The most disturbing danger to the public came from Clifford Earl Opperud, who was serving a 12 year sentence for burglary and kidnapping, when he made it to a private home and hid under a boat. Luckily, a few hours after Lane, Opperud was also taken into custody.

Although the danger is over, some experts are claiming the escape should never have happened in the first place.

Daniel Kennedy, professor of criminal justice at Oakland University in Michigan, says that it’s likely that the prison system misclassified Lane,

“He should have been at a maximum security facility. Three murders, three consecutive life sentences… who wouldn’t try to escape?”

Courts decide on a the length of a sentence, but its up to the prison system itself to decide where to send a particular criminal. Officials judge based on education, the sophistication of the crime, criminal history, and criminal connections or power. T.J. Lane, who is 19, may have been sent to a less secure facility because of his age.

Although, the degree of his crime and his behavior in court could have served as strong indicators that he was too much of a danger. T.J. Lane taunted the victims families and wore a t-shirt saying “killer” in the courtroom, showing no remorse or feelings for his crime.

[Image Credit: Ildar Sagdejev/Wikimedia Commons]

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