HUNTSVILLE, Texas – An escaped prison inmate suspected of running over a prison guard during a daylight escape from a work detail in Huntsville has been recaptured.
Texas prison officials say Jerry Martin, 37, convicted of attempted capital murder, was recaptured after lawmen on horseback using bloodhounds searched a wooded area for several hours. He was caught in a tree, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons says.
Martin and another inmate overpowered a guard then ran her over while escaping in a truck, prison officials say. The guard died. The other inmate, John Ray Falk, was recaptured shortly after the escape.
Martin, 37, had been imprisoned since 1997 and was serving a 50-year sentence for attempted murder.
Martin and Falk, 40, were working outside the Wynne Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice just north of Huntsville Monday morning. They overpowered the officer about 10:30 a.m. in the field along Interstate 45, took her weapons and stole a Huntsville city truck that was nearby, department spokesman Jason Clark said.
"They ran over the officer," Clark said. "We can confirm she did die."
The name of the officer was not immediately released.
Falk, who had been serving a life sentence since 1986 for murder, was quickly apprehended.
"At some point, and this is where it gets sketchy, they ditched the truck," Clark said.
Martin is believed to have run into a wooded area along I-45 about a mile or two south of where the officer was killed. At least one shotgun the officer was carrying had not been accounted for, agency spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said.
Based on his good disciplinary record in prison, Martin was classified as a minimum security inmate and assigned to do field work outside the prison under the supervision of officers.
"In this case, obviously, something went wrong," Lyons said.
Authorities in Utah were also searching for a pair of fugitives Monday after two convicted killers escaped from a county jail near the Utah-Wyoming border.
Danny Martin Gallegos, 49, and Juan Carlos Diaz-Arevelo, 27, escaped Sunday after jumping the fence at the Daggett County jail, about 120 miles east of Salt Lake City, said Jack Ford, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Corrections. He said the men were discovered missing during an inmate count at 8 p.m. — six hours after they were last seen at the jail.
"Both men are considered dangerous. Do not approach," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Diaz-Arevelo was convicted of murder and child abuse in 2006. Gallegos was convicted of aggravated murder in 1991. Because of overcrowding, the two men had been transferred to the jail from the state prison, Ford said.
In north Georgia, another search was on for three inmates who escaped from the Fannin County Jail in Blue Ridge. The Georgia State Patrol was called to assist the search by air after the three escaped on Sunday.