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Recaptured murderer charged with escape

February 02, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A convicted murderer who scaled two fences to escape from a local prison Jan. 17 was charged Saturday with escape, Washington County District Court documents show.

Kandelario Garcia-Ramos, 23, who escaped from Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown, was captured five days later when a clerk at Sheetz at U.S. 40 and Md. 66, east of Hagerstown, called 911 to report a suspicious man loitering in the store.

Garcia-Ramos, 23, had been serving a 40-year sentence for stabbing to death his former boss in Prince George's County, Md., in 2007.

He is now being held at the maximum-security North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md., documents show.

Garcia-Ramos was charged with first-degree escape, conviction of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Four MCI-Hagerstown correctional officers were suspended without pay for negligence in connection with the escape.

Two of the four suspended MCI officers have returned to work, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Mark Vernarelli said Monday afternoon. Two others remain suspended, he said. No disciplinary action has been taken against any other officers, he said.

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A K-9 officer conducting a perimeter security patrol Jan. 17 found a Division of Correction coat and a bedsheet with suspected blood stains on it hanging from the exterior perimeter fence at about 8:45 a.m., investigators wrote in charging documents.

Garcia-Ramos' cellmate told investigators that about at 4 a.m. that day, Garcia-Ramos put on three pairs of pants and "all the clothing he owned," and went to breakfast at about 5:10 a.m. As they left the chow hall, Garcia-Ramos stood outside by trash cans and let the other inmates who were going back to their housing unit pass him, court documents show.

Garcia-Ramos never returned from breakfast, although the other inmates on his housing unit were back in their cells by about 5:40 a.m.

State police were notified about 10:25 a.m., Maryland State Police Lt. David Kloos, commander of the Hagerstown barrack, has said.

Police have alleged Garcia-Ramos also broke into a Boonsboro home, taking jewelry and a camera, which was later found with pictures of him in its memory, during his time outside the prison.

Garcia-Ramos faces charges of first-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary and theft of more than $500. First-degree burglary is a felony, conviction of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

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