Convicted killer who escaped Florida prison nabbed

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 8:58 PM
Convicted killer who escaped Florida prison nabbed

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - A convicted killer who escaped from a Florida jail with his cellmate by crawling through air conditioning vents and then scaling razor-topped fences has been captured, police said on Tuesday.

Leviticus Uriah Taylor, 25, was caught on Monday evening after a sheriff's deputy spotted him walking down a road.

"When the agent asked if he was Taylor, he said, 'It's me.' And there was no struggle at all. He had presumably been out all night and was wanting to come in," Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar said.

Loar added that two women who he said had confessed to aiding in the escape effort were also in custody. Taylor's cellmate, Rondell H. Reed, 52, remained at large.

The women -- 19-year-old Sadie Welker, who said she was Taylor's girlfriend, and Angela Pike, 35 -- were arrested on charges of aiding an escaped inmate and were being held on $100,000 bonds.

The two men were discovered missing from their beds shortly before 5 a.m. on Monday during a routine head count at the Indian River County Jail, Loar said. The women told investigators that Taylor called them at 2:30 a.m. to pick him up at an apartment complex.

Loar described the escape plan as elaborate and said the inmates made use of the jail's air conditioning system to get out of the building and used clothing or blankets to help scale multiple razor-wire-topped fences.

Welker told investigators she had discussed the escape plan with Taylor numerous times and had waited at a planned rendezvous point for three nights before the inmates finally made their break, her arrest affidavit said.

Taylor was scheduled to be sentenced on November 10 for his first-degree murder conviction in the 2009 killing of a man in the course of a home burglary. Reed was awaiting trial over the killing of his sister's boyfriend.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)