Inmate provided sheets, measurements for Burham escape

Times Observer file photo

A Warren County Jail inmate has been charged with assisting in Michael Burham’s escape from the facility in the early morning hours of July 6.

George A. Flasher, 21, was charged with permitting or facilitating an escape and conspiracy to permit or facilitate an escape.

Flasher was interviewed by police on July 12. He told authorities Burham approached him for his assistance in obtaining bed sheets to allow for the escape. Flasher also said he calculated the length of rope Burham would need to rappel down the outside wall of courthouse, citing his knowledge of his father’s Florida-based construction company. Flasher also admitted to providing Burham with two bed sheets.

Flasher is scheduled to be arraigned in court later today.

Burham, 34, was on the loose for 10 days after his escape, precipitating a manhunt that brought national attention to Warren County. Since his apprehension, he has been housed at the Erie County Prison.

Last month, he entered not guilty pleas on a total of 35 charges in the Warren County Courthouse.

While Burham is very unlikely to receive the maximum possible sentence at each charge, the cumulative total of those charges is astounding — 261 years and nine months of incarceration and fines totaling $448,400, according to information presented in court Thursday.

A total of 33 charges stem from his alleged kidnapping of a Sheffield couple in May.

He had been on the run for over a week in the wake of a Jamestown police investigation into a homicide.

Burham allegedly staked out this couple’s residence before taking them – and their car – to Charleston, S.C. He was subsequently apprehended there and brought back to the Warren County Jail to face the kidnapping charges.

The list of charges from the kidnapping allegations is lengthy – six counts of kidnapping; two counts each of unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and harassment; possession of an instrument of crime with intent; three counts of theft by unlawful taking, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, burglary, criminal trespass – enter structure, criminal trespass – break into structure, criminal trespass and loitering and prowling at night time.

He also faces two charges – escape and conspiracy (escape) – in a case that is being prosecuted by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

Burham also is the prime suspect in the May 11 shooting death of 34-year-old Kala Hodgkin inside her William Street home in Jamestown. Afterward, the former Chautauqua County resident is accused of setting fire to another woman’s car in Jamestown.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today