Indiana Prison Guard Allegedly Helps Female Inmate Escape

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Authorities arrested a prison guard Tuesday for allegedly helping an inmate escape by driving her out of the prison complex hidden inside a vehicle.

Scott A. Spitler was arrested early Tuesday in connection with Sarah Pender's Monday escape from the Rockville Correctional Facility about 50 miles west of Indianapolis.

State prison officials said Spitler could face charges of assisting a criminal, official misconduct, sexual misconduct and trafficking with an inmate in Pender's escape.

Pender, 29, remained at large Tuesday evening. Officials said "an associate" picked her up after Spitler hid her in a prison vehicle and drove her outside the medium-security prison.

State corrections Commissioner Edwin G. Buss said he was embarrassed by Spitler's alleged actions but credited DOC investigators with quickly developing leads that led to his arrest.

"While I am embarrassed for the IDOC and deeply angered and disappointed in the officer's conduct that led to the offender's escape, I am proud that my Department moved quickly to identify those involved in aiding in the escape," Buss said in a statement.

He said an "intensive investigation" is under way to apprehend Pender and any others who may be involved in her escape.

Pender, who is from Nineveh, was convicted along with former Noblesville High School football star Richard "Rick" Hull Jr. in the 2000 slayings of two former roommates.

Pender received a 110-year sentence and Hull was sentenced to 75 years.