VERNON, Ind. – Three teenage inmates in a southern Indiana jail attacked three guards and briefly held them hostage early Tuesday during an escape attempt that left two guards hospitalized with stab wounds, authorities said.
The inmates at the Jennings County Jail managed to stab the guards — one of them four times — around 12:30 a.m. before police officers shocked the inmates with stun guns and took them into custody, according to the Jennings County Sheriff's Department.
Guard Vickie Day was taken to a local hospital for treatment, while guard Walter Peace was flown to an Indianapolis hospital with a stab wound to the head. Guard Shawn McDaniel was treated at a local hospital and released. The guards' conditions were not immediately available.
The escape attempt began when the inmates managed to take a jail officer hostage and then attacked two guards in the area. The inmates sprayed the guards with pepper spray they got from a storage cabinet, authorities said. They took the guards hostage during a struggle and moved into a hallway but were stopped from going any further when they reached locked hallway doors. Officers from the Sheriff's Department, the North Vernon Police Department and the Indiana State Police then confronted the inmates, used their stun guns on them and freed the guards.
Two of the inmates, 17-year-old Ryan T. Renfroe and 19-year-old Roger Lee Bushhorn, face preliminary charges of kidnapping, criminal confinement, attempted escape with a deadly weapon and attempted escape with serious bodily injury. The third, 17-year-old James A. Smith, faces similar charges along with a felony charge of attempted murder, according to the Sheriff's Department.
Renfroe, of Columbus, faces murder charges in the shootings deaths last month of a 69-year-old man and his 65-year-old wife. The Jennings County prosecutor's office would not immediately say why Smith and Bushhorn were in the Jennings County Jail.
All three inmates were being held in other facilities while police investigate the escape attempt.