11/04/2005

Texas death row inmate escapes from Houston jail

The Associated Press

HOUSTON- A death row inmate escaped from a county jail after he obtained civilian clothing and a fake ID badge, authorities said.

Charles Victor Thompson, 35, of Tomball, was being held Thursday in the Harris County Jail after he was resentenced last week in the 1998 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend.

"He had changed out of the orange jumpsuit that inmates ordinarily wear," Harris County sheriff's Lt. John Martin said in the online edition of the Houston Chronicle. "He may have been taken out of the cell block and put in the attorney booth in the guise of having an attorney visit."

Thompson had an ID card suggesting he worked for the Texas Attorney General's office.

"It was convincing enough that the deputy let him out of the facility," Martin said.

Thompson remained at large Friday and investigators were questioning jail employees.

Thompson was to be returned to the state prison system within 45 days, according to Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had ordered the new sentencing hearing. A new jury sentenced Thompson Oct. 28 to death.

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