HOUSTON – A death row inmate has been escorted back to the same county jail he escaped from last week when he ditched his prison jumpsuit and handcuffs and fooled guards with a fake ID.
Charles Victor Thompson was returned to the Harris County Jail about 10:30 p.m. Monday after officers captured him outside a liquor store in Shreveport, La. on Sunday night. He had been on the run since Thursday.
Officials with the Harris County Sheriff's Department said they're making sure Thompson won't have another chance to escape.
"We will have very strenuous security around him," said Lt. John Martin, sheriff's department spokesman. "Anytime he's out of his cell block, we will have a deputy with him at all times."
Thompson will be housed under tight security when he goes back to death row within a few weeks, said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Those security measures include a reduction of recreation time from one hour a day to one hour a week. Thompson also will be banned from having such personal items as a radio or typewriter.
"Most inmates with an escape under their belt are housed under our highest level of security," Lyons said.
Thompson, 35, was convicted in 1999 for the shooting deaths a year earlier of his ex-girlfriend, Dennise Hayslip, 39, of Tomball, and her new boyfriend, Darren Keith Cain, 30, of nearby Spring.
He had been brought to the county jail in Houston from death row to be resentenced on the orders of an appeals court. He was resentenced to death on Oct. 28 and was awaiting transfer back to Livingston when he escaped.
After meeting with an attorney in a jail visiting room Thursday, Thompson slipped into civilian clothes that authorities believe he wore during his sentencing and somehow smuggled back to his cell.
Thompson left the locked prisoner's booth in the visiting room and waved a fake ID badge as he passed at least four jail employees. Thompson, described by his victims' families and his lawyer as a charmer, was let into the jail's visitor's lobby. From there, he walked out the door and into the street.
Thompson didn't fight his return to Texas during a court hearing Monday in Caddo Parish, La., where he participated via video from jail.
"I don't want to waste the taxpayers' money in Louisiana," Thompson told state District Judge Ramona Emanuel.
Thompson faces escape charges in Harris County, which must be dealt with before he can be returned to death row in Livingston, about 75 miles northeast of Houston. But it was unlikely the state would bother trying Thompson on the charges because he already is condemned, Martin said.
An internal investigation into how Thompson escaped continues. While investigators have not ruled out the possibility Thompson got help from a jail employee, there is no direct evidence to support that, Martin said.
Investigators also are trying to determine how Thompson got to Shreveport, La., about 200 miles northeast of Houston.