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Third inmate was in cell

April 20, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Two Washington County men who used hacksaw blades to cut their way out of Franklin County Prison Wednesday night did so while a third inmate was in the cell, according to prison and police officials.

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Steven L. Silverman, 30, of Hagerstown, and Scott Caldwell Taylor, 24, of Sharpsburg, remained at large Thursday night, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

The escape was reported at approximately 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities said they think the two may have stolen a pickup truck reported stolen from a farm on U.S. 30 a few hundred yards south of the prison.

State police said the blue 1991 Ford F-150 pickup truck was described as being in "rough condition" with numerous dents. The truck had Pennsylvania license plate YP-11723.

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The two men escaped from the medium security D-Block, according to Warden Ray Rosenberry. The windows in the block are covered on the inside with a heavy wire screen and have horizontal bars, he said.

"Hacksaw blades were recovered," Rosenberry said.

State Police Trooper Gary L. Carter said at least one complete blade and pieces of blades were found, but did not reveal where they were found.

Rosenberry and Carter said it had not been determined whether Silverman and Taylor had climbed onto the roof of the jail to make their escape from the front of the building or gone over the razor wire of the fence that encloses the back of building.

Rosenberry said Taylor was assigned to cell D-10, from which the escape was made, but Silverman was assigned to D-7. He said when inmates were released from their cells to get medications Wednesday night "we believe that's when he went down to D-10."

Silverman apparently switched cells with another inmate.

"There were three people assigned to the cell. Only one person assigned to the cell escaped," Rosenberry said.

"The inmate that remained back gave the alarm," Rosenberry said.

He said authorities were reviewing records to determine how Silverman got to the cell and how long he and Taylor may have been gone before the other prisoner notified the guards.

Rosenberry declined to speculate on why the other inmate in the cell did not notify corrections officers while the escape was in progress.

Carter said there were no known accomplices in the escape and it was unknown how Silverman and Taylor had obtained the hacksaw blades.

Warrants have been issued for the two men on charges of escape, possession of instruments of escape and flight to avoid prosecution.

Silverman was being held in Franklin County Prison awaiting arraignment on burglary and theft charges in connection with a June 1999 break-in at Shoemaker's Sporting Goods in Chambersburg. Thirty handguns worth more than $11,000 had been stolen, according to borough police records.

Silverman had been serving a four-year sentence in Maryland for larceny and possession of cocaine, according to court records. He was scheduled for arraignment on the burglary and theft charges in Franklin County Court on May 31.

Taylor had been in Franklin County Court Wednesday for arraignment on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy, according to court records. He pleaded innocent and his case was scheduled for the July trial term.

Court records said Taylor had been charged by Washington Township Police with stealing a 1989 Ford Mustang from Mike's Auto and Truck, 5100 Buchanan Trail East, on May 17, 1999.

Taylor had also been serving a Maryland prison sentence, but Carter did not know of what he had been convicted in that state.

The last escape from the prison was about five years ago when two men had used smuggled hacksaw blades to cut their way out of A-Block, Rosenberry said. Neither man got out of the Chambersburg area and both were caught within hours of the break.

Silverman is described as being 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 225 pounds and muscular with numerous tattoos.

Taylor is described as being white, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, with blonde hair.

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