2 inmates breach fence, escape from state prison in Florence

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities were searching Sunday for two inmates who escaped from the state prison in Florence by breaching a fence using tools retrieved from a facility room.

Arizona Department of Corrections officials said John Charpiot and David Harmon escaped Saturday from the medium custody south unit.

They said the two weren’t accounted for during the 8:30 p.m. inmate count after being there for the 4 p.m. count.

Charpiot and Harmon broke into a tool shed by knocking down an air conditioning unit and breaking through a wall, according to authorities.

The two inmates were able to obtain a bolt cutter, wire snips and other items and used them to cut a fence.

The items were recovered inside and outside the facility room.

At a news conference Sunday at the Florence prison, Corrections officials said department is offering rewards of $25,000 per inmate for information leading to their arrests.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced that the US Marshals Service has offered an additional $10,000 per inmate, bringing the total to $70,000.

Corrections officials said they have dispatched chase teams, tracking dog teams and a fugitive apprehension unit to find the escaped inmates along with help from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

DPS Col. Heston Silbert said the search includes roadblocks out of Florence, two different SWAT teams, air units and investigators contacting possible affiliates of the inmates.

Charpiot was sent to prison in 2011 on a 35-year sentence for molestation of a child and sexual abuse out of Maricopa County.

Harmon has been imprisoned since 2012 after being convicted out of Maricopa County and sentenced to 100 years for kidnapping and second-degree burglary charges.

Places in this Story

Organizations in this Story

People in the Story