Inmate Dies After Escaping Minimum Security Federal Prison

INEZ, KY -- A woman has been charged with helping her husband escape from the federal prison in Martin County, but his freedom didn't last long — he died soon after sneaking out, reports the Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.

Susan A. Witherspoon brought her husband, Desmond Greene, back to the prison after he became ill. A guard found Greene unresponsive in Witherspoon's car in the parking lot, according to a sworn statement by Randolph Copley, an FBI agent, reports the newspaper.

The charge does not list Witherspoon's address. She apparently is from South Carolina, however; she was ordered to report to authorities in Columbia after a federal magistrate judge released her on bond Thursday. Greene, 48, was an inmate at the minimum-security camp at the Martin County prison. The camp isn't fenced.

Inmates sometimes leave the camp "to rendezvous with spouses and paramours for romantic interludes," then sneak back in before the next head count, Copley said in his affidavit.

Copley said that just after midnight on Oct. 5, corrections officers counted the inmates. One remembered seeing Greene in his bunk, wiggling his foot, the Herald-Leader reports.

At 1:12 a.m., an officer heard someone banging on a door and found Witherspoon crying, screaming and yelling for help. She said Greene was in her car and was unresponsive. The officer and several inmates ran to the car.

Two inmates — one a physician — performed CPR on Greene. Ambulance workers rushed him to a hospital in Prestonsburg, but he was pronounced dead there at 2:08 a.m., Copley told the Herald-Leader.

Copley said the cause of death has not been determined. Hospital officials trying to get a urine sample for drug and alcohol tests saw what appeared to be semen on Greene's body, Copley said.

Witherspoon said she and Greene never left the prison grounds.

However, Copley said that in a 911 call Witherspoon made in the moments after Greene became ill, she told a dispatcher she was near the Haven of Rest, a faith-based motel for inmates' families near the prison, reports the Herald-Leader.

Witherspoon was registered to stay alone at the motel, but another resident heard two people talking in her room at the time Greene was allegedly out of the prison, according to the agent's statement.

In a second 911 call, Witherspoon said she needed help in the parking lot of the prison, Copley told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Copyright - The Lexington Herald-Leader.
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