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Pa. inmate charged in escape attempt

July 18, 2003|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Franklin County Prison inmate charged with escaping with two other prisoners in March faces additional charges that allege he tried to escape on July 7, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Eric Orion Plummer, 22, was charged with attempted escape and criminal mischief.

Police allege he tried to break out through a cell window, police said. The metal frame and window panes of his cell were damaged, along with a metal bed frame, according to police.

Police said the cell window was damaged between 8:15 and 9:30 p.m. July 7, but it was not discovered until a cell check the next day.

"He was working on it," Warden John Wetzel said.

The screen over the window had been popped out, the plexiglass window broken and the metal window frame bent, he said.

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Plummer was one of three men charged with scaling the fence of the work release annex of the prison on the night of March 19. Plummer had been serving a four- to-18-month sentence for theft by deception, forgery and receiving stolen property at the time, according to court records.

Unlike the March 19 escape, Plummer was housed in the main prison building when the cell window was damaged.

Plummer, no fixed address, was sentenced Dec. 11, 2002, and would have been eligible for release less than a month after his escape.

"Not someone with good vision, let's say," Wetzel said of that first escape.

After the March 19 escape, police allege that Plummer, along with Ralph Frederick Hepfer, 25, and Robert Lee Thomas, 22, stole a truck from a Chambersburg business and drove it to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they were arrested a day later.

Plummer's next scheduled court appearance on escape, theft and receiving stolen property charges from the March 19 incidents is scheduled for Aug. 22, according to the Franklin County District Attorney's Office.

Both escape and attempted escape are third-degree felonies. They carry a maximum sentence on conviction of seven years in prison, according to state law.

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