WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Residents near prison fed up with number of escapees

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For the second time in less than a week, there's been an escape from a Lexington prison.

Investigators say 49-year-old Willard Wilson and 38-year-old Donnie Johnson walked away from the Blackburn Correctional Complex Sunday night, and they're still on the run.

Police say one of the inmates who got away in the most recent escape did have a prior charge of escape. The inmate who walked away last week was caught just hours later.

Corrections leaders say the number of escapes from Blackburn this year have already equaled the number of escapes from all of last year, and people who live near the prison say they're fed up.

"With these people breaking out of the prison all the time here, we're getting more and more concerned about it," says Greg Plunkett, who lives near the prison. "Who don't know who it is. You don't know what their motives are. You don't know if they're trying to stealing something. They've just gotten out of prison, you don't know what they're up to."

In regards to what security setting inmates are fit for, the Department of Corrections told us they have a rating system, based on the severity of the crime, disciplinary history, age of the offender, and severity of prior incarcerations.

For inmates, like Wilson and Johnson, they fit the minimum security criteria.

Inmates must also be 48 months within completing their sentence or from seeing a parole board. These two men were about a year from parole eligibility.

A spokesperson with the Department of Corrections also tells us they are reviewing their current security policies while conducting a critical incident review. This is the third escape incident this year.

We're told Johnson is serving a 13-year sentence for robbery and receiving stolen property convictions in Kenton County. Wilson is serving a 22-year sentence for burglary, firearm, and escape convictions in Boone and Kenton Counties.


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