One of three who tried jailbreak pleads guilty

One of three men involved in a June jailbreak attempt has entered a guilty plea.

Casey Charles McClain, Sheffield; Joshua Darryl Wightman, Warren and Joshua Paul Morgan, Warren, were charged on Friday by City of Warren police.

McClain entered a guilty plea on Thursday before Judge Gregory Hammond to charges of criminal conspiracy (escape) and institutional vandalism.

In exchange for the plea, charges of escape, weapon or implement for escape and criminal attempt (escape) were not prosecuted.

McClain’s attorney, Elizabeth Feronti, said that McClain has waived his right to be present for sentencing and requests to be sentenced via video conference from state prison where he is currently serving an unrelated sentence.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, City of Warren police were dispatched to the jail on June 23 on a report of an attempted escape. Police said that they met with Warden Jon Collins and Deputy Warden Rusty Barr, who displayed items that had been seized stemming from an incident on June 20.

An internal investigation conducted by Barr found that sometime on June 20, the three men “disassembled a flushing unit in the 3 Dorm bathroom and used items to make a hole large enough to crawl through.”

Barr told police that McClain “was attempting to find a way to escape” while Wightman and Morgan were “involved with climbing through the wall…. Numerous items of contraband were found during the cell extraction and search of the entire housing unit.”

The internal investigation determined that McClain, Wightman and Morgan “were the three inmates that left the housing unit and crawled along the walls and ceiling of 3 Dorm and an adjacent dorm looking for possible ways of escape and ways to communicate with other inmates in the adjacent block. There were several items taken from inside the walls which could be used as weapons and implements of escape such as a long metal pick type tool, a heavy metal bracket and a long silver metal or tin bracket and a trouble light with a long cord.”

Police said in the affidavit that they “learned that defendant McClain entered the wall opening at least twice but was unable to find an escape route due to him being transferred to a state correctional facility on Wednesday, June 21.

“The defendants Morgan and Wightman continued to use the hall and entered the walls leaving their housing unit until it was discovered by officers on Friday, June 23.”

Also found inside the wall, police allege, were several bags of fermenting fruit which the men were attempting to make into alcohol.

Morgan has already plead and been sentenced to state prison while the charges against Wightman are still pending.