Two accused killers break out of Florida prison

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2011 2:54 PM
Two accused killers break out of Florida prison

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - Two accused killers escaped through an air conditioning vent and used blankets to scale razor-wire-topped fences to break out of maximum security at a Florida prison before dawn on Monday, authorities said.

"When all the details come out, you probably won't believe (it)," Indian River Sheriff Deryl Loar said.

The two men had been cellmates for the past five days in the Indian River County Jail and were being held on murder charges for separate incidents.

"It was a very elaborate scheme. We also know that it was very detailed in the way they departed the premises," Loar said at a press conference.

Loar said the inmates made use of the jail's air conditioning system to get out of the jail building and used clothing or blankets to help scale multiple razor-wire-topped fences. Investigators believe the inmates had outside help and fled in a car, he said.

One of the escaped inmates, Rondell H. Reed, who turns 52 on Tuesday, has a history of shooting at police, according to sheriff's records. The other escapee, Leviticus Uriah Taylor, 25, was convicted of first-degree murder within the past month and was due to be sentenced on November 10, Loar said.

Loar said both are considered dangerous and likely have left the immediate Indian River area.

The inmates were discovered missing during a routine hourly head count just before dawn, officials said. During a search of the jail, their red jumpsuits were found in a service area.

According to sheriff's records, Taylor was convicted of a 2009 murder during a home burglary. Reed was awaiting trial in connection with the murder of his sister's boyfriend and theft of the victim's Corvette at an automotive shop.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)