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Prison Guard Sentenced in Escape Plot

Erik Jacobs, 31, a former guard at Ely State Prison in Nevada was sentenced to one year in jail and fined $2,000 for helping a prisoner plan an escape. Jacobs was sentenced in March, 2001, by White Pine District Judge Dan Papez in Ely, a small, rural town some 320 miles east of Reno. The guard worked at the prison three years before being arrested last September. Jacobs was initially charged with five counts of supplying a weapon or simulated weapon to a prisoner and two counts of aiding in the escape plot.

The former guard was charged with one gross misdemeanor count of aiding a prisoner in escape. Jacobs entered an Alford plea, a special pleading that does not admit guilt, but does acknowledge that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. Such pleas have the same legal effect as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes.

Deputy Attorney General Kevin Briggs said Jacobs supplied David "Bang Bang" Wayne with security seals for his razor. The strips of material are placed on the back of radios and televisions by prison staff to prevent prisoners from hiding contraband inside the appliance. The security seals can't be taken off without breaking them. "Prison guards can check to see if the seals have been broken," Briggs said.

With a supply of new seals, Wayne was able to hide five .25 caliber bullets and a handcuff key inside an electric razor. "We have no actual proof that Jacobs was involved in getting [Wayne] bullets," the prosecutor explained.

But, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Wayne got himself busted when he told prison officials last July about another guard who had allegedly smuggled drugs, a gun, bullets, and handcuff keys to prisoners for cash. Wayne, 58, had built quite a reputation in prison as an escape artist and manipulator. During his prison term, he has been involved in three hostage taking situations, escaped once, and was suspected in another attempt.

Wayne was serving a 20 year sentence for attempted murder for shooting a Reno bartender during a robbery in 1970. His sentence for the shooting expired, and he's now serving a life term under the habitual offender law. No charges were filed against him for the escape plot. "It really wasn't worthwhile seeking to add more time to his sentence," Briggs smiled.

Source: Associated Press .

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