Eight inmates escape from N.M. jail
The Associated Press
CLOVIS, N.M. — A fourth inmate who escaped from the Curry County jail has been captured in Albuquerque. And, a grandmother accused of helping two other escapees was arrested after her 8-year-old grandson told a school counselor about seeing his father in her home.
District Attorney Matt Chandler said Victor Sotelo, 26, was caught Thursday night. Sotelo was facing charges for aggravated assault when he escaped from the jail Sunday.
Chandler said Sotelo was arrested without incident.
Four escapees remain at large Friday from the group of eight that used handmade implements to cut a hole in the roof of the Curry County jail.
The mother of escaped inmate Michael England, Hester, 55, was arrested Thursday on charges of harboring or aiding a felon. Her arrest came a day after she made a public television plea for her son to turn himself in.
Michael England, 29, of Clovis, was being held on charges of tampering with evidence and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Court records allege that Michael England and Larry McClendon, 19, of Plainview, Texas, who is charged with murder and aggravated robbery, stopped by Hester England's Clovis home to pick up clothes after their escape.
Hester England had denied knowing anything about the escape, but after being told of her grandson's statement at school, she acknowledged she had talked to her son and McClendon after their escape, court records showed.
Hester England said she told her son to return to jail, but he said he was not going back.
Chandler said it's possible England and McClendon are still in Clovis.
"The citizen tips have continued to come in throughout the last 24 hours and law enforcement are taking those tips very seriously and continue to follow up on them," Chandler said.
Law enforcement is searching for the four inmates throughout Clovis, Albuquerque and West Texas. Two of the eight were caught in neighboring Texas and one in Clovis earlier this week.
Also still at large are:
-Edward Salas, who was convicted of murder for the 2005 shooting death of a 10-year-old boy, who was killed when shots were fired through his bedroom window as he slept. Salas was sentenced to life in prison.
-Louis Chavez, 18, of Albuquerque, who was charged with aggravated burglary, tampering with evidence, receiving stolen property and extreme cruelty to animals.
The television show "America's Most Wanted" plans to feature Salas' story on Saturday.
Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller said he expects the show to help.
"It always generates new tips and new information and we're very thankful that America's Most Wanted is going to focus on this," he said.
Earlier this week, four other inmates have been charged for helping the eight escape and two family members were arrested for not cooperating with authorities.
Waller said the investigation into how the inmates escaped from the jail is ongoing.
The escapees got out of their pods via two different doors and then climbed up plumbing pipes to the hole they had cut in the roof.
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Investigators are looking into how the inmates obtained keys to open the pod doors, which normally are locked.