La. inmate breaks through prison wall, escapes

Used a locker lid to chip away at bricks around a window while other inmates made noise to cover the sounds

By C1  Staff

AMITE, La. — A man who broke through a prison wall in Amite, Louisiana is back behind bars, but the sheriff is admitting the facility has serious security issues.

WWLTV reports that murder suspect Verdelle Moore was on the loose for 15 hours after he chopped through a cell wall with a locker lid and escaped.

One inmate, who was later released after giving his story to the authorities, saw the escape in progress.

“They broke the locker lid off the locker and beat the bricks out between the windows,” said Jerry Shuckhart. He says two inmates escaped, while a third was “too fat for the hole.” He describes Moore using a blanket to get over barbed wire fence set up around the facility.

Inmates also made loud noises to cover the sound of hammering through the concrete wall.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards explained that the facility has a construction defect, where there was an oversight involved in the materials used when it was first built 30 years ago.

When he asked voters a year ago to impose a tax allowing him to raise money to fix an antiquated jail, the majority said ‘no.’

“We run at capacity and over capacity every single day. We educated the voters on this last fall. The Tangiphoa government called for a tax to build a new jail. Certainly nothing has changed for the better. There is no question that we need additional space. We need a newer facility. We have serious infrastructure problems,” the sheriff said.

The parish is now checking for other structural problems that could make an escape easy.

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