A convicted murderer is on the loose as a hurricane threatens the area -- sounds like a (bad) novel.
But that's what's happening today in the Houston area.
Marlow Wayne Reynolds, who killed a buddy in a bar fight (he says it was self-defense), escaped from TDCJ's Stringfellow Unit in Rosharon last night.
By climbing over a fence.
We always figured there might be more to escaping the kind of prisons that hold convicted murderers than just climbing over a fence, but that's what the report from TDCJ said.
To their credit, guards did manage to get three shots off at Reynolds. Not to their credit, they all missed.
We asked TDCJ spokesperson Michelle Lyons about the whole fence thing, but we haven't heard back. Maybe top-level TDCJ staff is in a meeting to discuss other ways of preventing escapes, like walls and dogs and maybe even second fences.
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If his mugshot is to be believed, residents should be on the lookout for an extremely gloomy-looking guy.
Update -- Lyons' response:
The fences surrounding the units are topped with razor wire but exactly how many layers of wire, how many fences, etc. is dependent on the custody level housed in that area. In this situation, a minimum custody, general population offender escaped from a recreational area surrounded by a fence topped with razor wire.
In an area where the custody level is higher, you may see a fence topped with razor wire, a three-foot buffer and then another fence topped with razor wire. Some have fences with razor wire along both the top and the bottom. Some recreational areas are completely fenced in, including the roof. My point is that it is based on the custody level of the inmates using the area.
-- Richard Connelly