American citizen tries to escape a Namibian prison

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2014 11:24 AM
American citizen tries to escape a Namibian prison

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — An American citizen attempted to escape from a prison in Namibia's capital, Windhoek, but was caught, the country's press agency said Monday.

The Namibian Press Agency, reported that Los Angeles native Marcus Kevin Tomas climbed a tree inside the Windhoek Central Prison and tried to jump over the barbed wire fence but instead landed on top of the fence. Prison authorities told the press agency that they found Tomas hanging from the barbed fence and called emergency medical services to remove him.

The agency said Tomas had injuries on his upper body and feet and was taken to a local hospital. Officials told the agency that Tomas was found with a mobile phone, wire cutting tools and a map from Windhoek to the coastal town of Swakopmund, which is more than 350 kilometers (about 220 miles) away.

Tomas and another American national Kevin Townsend were charged with the killing of a Namibian citizen, Andre Heckmair. According to local media, the men were arrested in 2011 and charged with murder, robbery and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. Tomas now also faces charges of escaping police custody.

Tomas and Townsend are yet to stand trial and were not granted bail. The U.S. Embassy in Namibia would not comment on the ongoing case.

Townsend, a New York native, is reported to be a student while Tomas is self-employed, according to the Namibian press agency.