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Mar 30, 1999

Four escape from Hattieville

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Today Hattieville prisoners remained in lock down and were denied recreation time and visitation as most of the institution’s security guards were out on a massive manhunt for four inmates who escaped from what authorities describe as the maximum security area around one forty five this morning. Those who escaped include two notorious criminals convicted for murder and manslaughter.

Sixteen year old Rocky Matura Williams, seventeen year old Juan Ramirez, twenty two year old Maximilliano Williams and twenty five year old Juan Alvarez are believed to have damaged the lock to their cell door and then escaped by running along the verandah of their cell block and scaling the prison’s only inner fence surrounding the compound. While at this time it does not look like any of the institution’s staff was directly responsible for the escape, the breakout is being blamed on the department’s negligence in changing old locks on the prison’s cell doors.

Bernard Adolphus, Superintendent of Prisons

“The locking system was tampered with from inside the cell. The lock that was in the cell should have been changed. I have new locks to change this old lock and the process was slow so

we are yet to complete that. So what they did, they damage the back of the lock and mess up the mechanism. And by doing that it was easy to be removed from its case.”

Not only should have the Prison Department made sure that the lock in maximum security was replaced, but there is also no excuse as to why the men were able to escape under the watch of an armed security guard who should have been able to spot the fleeing convicts from the prison’s tower.

Bernard Adolphus

“If I sit down, if I stand up I would be able to see the whole area of max and anybody that walks on the verandah after funny hours. Once you are alert; once you are alert, you will see things if you are alert. You will see things despite the fact that there are four hundred and seventy three people to the back there. If you are constantly vigilant you will hear sound; you will hear something.”

The prisoners, who are considered dangerous were convicted for crimes ranging from murder to theft and expiration of visitor’s permit. Juan Ramirez, a Guatemalan, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Pedro Urbano Allen at A & R’s Gas Station in June of 1997. Maximilliano Williams a Belizean was sentenced to fifteen years in jail on a manslaughter charge. Rocky Williams, who is a Belizean, was acquitted on a murder charge and was serving a three year sentence for the possession of cannabis and the cultivation of cannabis. Williams was also remanded to jail on a robbery charge. Superintendent Bernard Adolphus says they have presently launched a massive manhunt with the help of the police and is optimistic that soon they will have their men back in custody.

Bernard Adolphus

“Whenever they escape from here they hit either northeast or they will go northwest and sometimes they blow by twenty-six miles sometimes they blow by thirty-one miles. The area around us is swampy, marshy land and if you are not country oriented you will take it. If not you would want to have the tendency to drift on the road. Those city fellow would drift on the road, those country guys and the Salvadorans and Guatemalans would hit the bushes.”

Adolphus is asking the general public to report any suspicious looking characters in their neighborhood.

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