Four state prison inmates, including one serving 23 years for armed robbery and another serving 20 years for attempted murder, were sentenced yesterday for trying to escape from a cell at the Circuit Courthouse in Annapolis last December.
Terry Love, 22, of Pasadena, and Baltimore residents Thomas Wallace, 26, Nicholas Fletcher, 40, and Curtis Wright, 26, pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted escape.
Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. sentenced Wallace, Love and Fletcher to nine months each, to be served in addition to their current sentences. He sentenced Wright to six months of additional time because he returned to the cell rather than fight with sheriff's deputies.
The inmates were escorted to court yesterday by six prison guards and sheriff's deputies.
Assistant State's Attorney Cynthia Ferris said the four men had been placed in a cell in the basement security area Dec. 18, but had to be moved because a toilet was broken and a plumber was sent in for repairs.
After being removed to another cell, they broke free from their leg irons, passed through an unlocked cell door and tried to run behind a deputy sitting nearby at about 12:35 p.m.
Ms. Ferris said it remains unclear why the cell door was left unlocked.
Pat Ogle, a Sheriff's Department spokesman, said the inmates apparently snapped the chains on the leg irons by closing them on the hinges of the cell door.
Ms. Ferris said that six deputies recaptured the men before they could break out of the sheriff's holding area and that five of them were treated for injuries that included bruised ribs, a fractured wrist, a dislodged tooth, and cuts and bruises.
Wright was serving 20 years for attempted murder, Love 23 years for armed robbery and robbery, Fletcher 13 years for robbery and drug charges, and Wallace six years for robbery, theft and handgun charges.
Assistant Public Defender Paul Hazelhurst said the Division of Corrections also has penalized the inmates by taking away their earned "good conduct time" earned and placing them in tighter security prisons.
Fletcher and Wright have been transferred to the House of Correction in Jessup, and Love and Wallace have moved to the Supermax prison in Baltimore, he said.