A prison officer who failed to report Danelo Cavalcante’s escape from a Pennsylvania prison has been fired.
The development comes just days after acting Chester County Jail Warden Howard Holland said the officer’s actions were the focus of an investigation by prosecutors. The correctional officer had previously been placed on administrative leave after failing to see and report Cavalcante’s escape on Aug. 31.
“We can confirm that the correctional officer on duty when Danelo Cavalcante escaped was fired yesterday afternoon,” a source said CNN iwell statement. “He was an 18-year prison veteran.”
Cavalcante, who was recently sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend, fled the facility while other inmates were playing basketball in the exercise yard. A video of the incident showed him running up a wall to gain access to the roof of the prison.
He then jumped to another area of the prison and left the prison on foot. The unconventional method is exactly the same one used by another prisoner back in May.
In that incident, the inmate was captured within minutes of a tower officer reporting the break-in to prison staff.
In Cavalcante’s case, the escape wasn’t noticed until an hour later during a head count when his block returned inside after the basketball game.
Mr Holland had said on Thursday that appropriate action would be taken against the staff based on the results of the ongoing investigation.
Mr. Holland said that after the escape attempt in May, the prison brought in consultants to increase security at the facility. The barbed wire that Cavalcante cut through was laid to prevent access to the roof, but officials did not expect “the human element” to fail, Mr. Holland said.
“Although we believed the security measures we had in place were sufficient, they have proven otherwise,” Holland said. “And we will work to improve our security… A key difference.” [this] The escape is the job of the tower officer, whose primary job is to supervise the inmate in the exercise yard.”
Mr. Holland declined to say what the prison guard was believed to have done during the escape, saying only that he was at the post.
Authorities said during a news conference Thursday that the search area needed to be expanded to eight to 10 square miles after Cavalcante passed the original search area.