Captured West Virginia Inmate Who Walked Out Of Prison Was Likely Helped By The Guards

Uniformed Prison Guard Keeping Watch

A West Virginia prisoner who disguised himself in civilian attire and walked right out of South Central Regional Jail in Charleston has finally been caught. Todd Wayne Boyes, 44, escaped on Wednesday morning sometime before 6 a.m., but no one detected his absence until 7 p.m. Thursday evening– or so they say.

According to CNN, Boyes dressed himself in a dark jacket that zipped up the front and khaki pants. Neither of these articles of clothing is standard-issue prison attire. The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS) are investigating whether or not proper procedures for inmate headcounts are being followed.

From the time Boyes escaped until the time he was discovered missing, three formal headcounts plus two informal headcounts had been logged. WCHS reported that once staff realized he was unaccounted for, it still took the officers until 12:30 a.m. to notify the state police.

Boyes had a 36-hour head start but was apprehended at approximately 4 a.m. ET in Laredo, Texas, as he tried to cross the Rio Grande River into Mexico. The fact that he was able to travel from West Virginia to Texas has authorities wondering if the inmate had help while in jail and after he broke free. But Boyes has a history of carjacking which is a skill that may have been useful in his interstate travels.

current wall that runs along Texas-Mexico border

As far as his motives for escaping go, Boyes was scheduled to be sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty in September. He admitted to fleeing with reckless indifference to the safety of others, possession of a stolen vehicle, and fleeing from police causing bodily injury. Boyes was facing anywhere from three to 20 years in prison for his crimes.

DMAPS spokesman Lawrence Messina said that there is evidence to suggest that the prisoner’s escape was indeed an inside job. Attorney Kevin Davis visited with one of his clients on Wednesday who is also incarcerated at South Central Regional Jail. The man told Davis that he reported Boyes’ escape to a guard earlier that day in writing. The officer allegedly read the note, folded it up, and put it in his pocket. Messina has already temporarily taken some of the guards off the job and the payroll.

“Four facility officers have been suspended without pay pending the completion of the investigation,” Messina said.

[Featured Image by Ian Waldie/Getty Images]