San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 24th, 2010
Two prisoners escape from Hays County jail, recaptured hours later

Medina

by SEAN KIMMONS

Two prisoners broke free from the Hays County Jail early this morning and after an ensuing manhunt were recaptured within hours, authorities say.

Moore

James Roland Moore, 38, and Francisco Chavez Medina, 31, escaped from the jail’s kitchen area through a roll-up door with access to the outside, Hays County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Leroy Opiela said.

“They figured out how to unlock it,” Opiela said.

A San Marcos police officer bringing in a suspect for booking witnessed the two men crawling through the door, scaling fences and running away at about 3 a.m., Opiela said.

Around 6 a.m. both men were back in custody following a search party that involved multiple law enforcement agencies and resources. A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter used its thermal infrared video camera to spot the fleeing prisoners, Opiela said.

Both fugitives were captured about a half-mile from the jail near the intersection of Salinas and Harris Hill Road. The men suffered minor cuts as they climbed a barbed wire fence and crossed through brushy areas, officials say.

During their escape, the men knocked on the door of a nearby home asking for help. A man came to the door armed with a pistol and refused to assist them.

“He then called 911 and we got a better idea of where they were heading,” Opiela said.

It was the first prison escape for Hays County since 1989, officials say.

Moore, of Austin, was being held on felony charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and Medina, of Kyle, is charged with the first-degree felony of continuous sexual abuse and faces an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer, court records show.

The two men, who had been awaiting trial and booked on the charges this summer, will most likely face new charges as a result of the escape, authorities say.

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