Convicted bank robber pleads guilty to escape attempt

September 18, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Mark Daniel Haines
Submitted photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A man who was convicted of robbing a bank in 2010 pleaded guilty this week in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg to attempting to escape from Eastern Regional Jail while he was waiting to be sentenced for the robbery, according to court records and U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II’s office.

Mark Daniel Haines, 42, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the attempted escape conviction, according to Ihlenfeld’s office.

Between October 2011 and Jan. 30, Haines attempted to escape from the jail by digging out a block at the head of his bunk and camouflaging his work, according to court records and Ihlenfeld’s office.

Haines was sentenced in May to nearly 19 years in prison and three years of probation after pleading guilty to the Dec. 22, 2010, robbery of a BB&T branch in Martinsburg.

A few weeks after he was sentenced, an attorney for Haines filed a civil-rights lawsuit against Jefferson County Sheriff Robert E. “Bobby” Shirley and 14 other law enforcement officers, claiming he was a victim of police brutality.

The trial for that case is set for Nov. 19, 2013, according to court records.

Haines claims in the lawsuit that Shirley kicked him in the head repeatedly and stomped on his face, according to court documents.

Officers allegedly threw Haines to the ground and against a cruiser, punched him and shocked him with stun guns, according to court documents.

Shirley’s attorneys have denied the allegations, and the sheriff pleaded not guilty in June to two criminal charges contained in a federal indictment that alleges he kicked Haines and assaulted him, and willfully deprived him of his right to be free from use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.

The indictment also accuses the sheriff of falsifying a use-of-force report regarding Haines’ arrest. The trial for the charges against Shirley is set for Jan. 22.

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