CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia corrections officials said Friday that they have suspended a fifth jail guard without pay following an inmate escape early Oct. 25 that wasn’t noticed for about 36 hours.
Inmate Todd Wayne Boyes, 44, of Caldwell, Ohio, escaped from the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, two days before his scheduled sentencing on charges including fleeing and possession of a stolen car. He was facing up to 20 years in prison. Boyes initially was charged with attempted murder after a Charleston police officer was hurt during a pursuit to arrest him, but that charge was dropped in a September plea deal.
The state’s Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority said it doesn’t expect to comment further on the suspensions until its internal investigation is complete. Four guards were suspended last week.
It also said the system’s medical provider, PrimeCare, has advised it had fired an employee assigned to the jail.
PrimeCare chief executive Thomas Weber said Friday the medical provider found the employee did not follow proper procedures for a patient refusing treatment, but “there’s no evidence she in any way facilitated the escape.” He declined to identify the employee or the patient.
Boyes was apprehended on Sunday in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and turned over by Mexican immigration officers to their U.S. counterparts, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
According to investigators, Boyes had changed into civilian clothes to escape. Three end-of-shift head counts failed to note to his disappearance, which was finally reported the evening of the following day. A review of the jail’s security video showed Boyes leaving the facility.
Authorities said Boyes’ mother, 62-year-old Robin Helton, helped her son escape by driving him to Texas and giving him $2,000 after he called her. She declined comment at arraignment and was jailed with bail set at $50,000.