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Inmate walks off with 11 days left on sentence

April 11, 2000|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Christopher Lynn Reed would have tasted freedom in only 11 days.

But at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, while on work-release from the Washington County Detention Center, Reed walked away from his job at the Resh Sanitary Landfill west of Hagerstown, according to the Sheriff's Department.

He was spotted riding a bicycle at the landfill on U.S. 63 and later broke into a relative's house on Mount Tabor Road, deputies alleged.

Sgt. Mark Faith said Reed, 23, found out his former girlfriend was living with another man. Reed allegedly told authorities that he wanted to get his kids.

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Reed was to be released from the detention center on April 22.

"He was only looking at 11 more days," said Van Evans, the detention center's warden.

Now he could face up to five years if convicted on escape charges. He was charged with first- and second-degree escape, burglary and malicious destruction of property, deputies said.

After he allegedly broke into the house, Reed was confronted by its resident and left, deputies said.

He was apprehended at about 3:40 p.m. in front of the Baltimore Street Car Wash.

Reed, who was serving a 74-day sentence for fourth-degree burglary, was one of a handful of prisoners eligible for work-release.

Evans said about 20 people are allowed to leave the jail for work during the day. On Tuesday, the detention center had 320 prisoners, not including those under home detention and those who must report to jail only on weekends, he said.

Evans said inmates are carefully screened and only nonviolent offenders are eligible for work-release under the detention center's policy.

Because they are carefully screened and because they usually are close to their release date, Evans said most inmates on work-release follow the rules. He estimated about one or two a year try to escape.

"It's rather uncommon," he said.

Staff Writer Marlo Barnhart contributed to this story.

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