ANGOLA, LA — Two escaped inmates are back in custody following a multi-agency response.
Officials with Angola Prison confirmed that two inmates escaped from the prison shortly before 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22. The Louisiana State Police and West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted with the search. Both men were taken back into custody shortly before 11:30 a.m.
“We are thankful that this situation was brought to a quick end, that injury was avoided and that the inmates never escaped off Angola’s vast grounds,” Warden Burl Cain, Angola Prison, said.
The inmates are Melvin Johnson, a convicted rapist from Orleans Parish, and Aaron Francois, a convicted murderer from Lafayette Parish. The two were cellmates who are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Johnson and Francois escaped from the exercise yard after they broke through the bottom of a fencing area. They utilized work gloves and a blue jean jacket to get through the razor wire located on the second fence.
“The inmates were then reported as running over the inner ring levee adjacent to the camp. The Angola Chase Team, including the K9 team, boat crew, and thermal imagery teams reported immediately and surrounded a wooded area when the inmates were last seen,” Warden Cain continued. “The inmates surrendered upon the orders of staff and no deadly force was employed during the apprehension.”
Once apprehended, both men were in possession of a large quantity of pepper and roughly 30 bags of peanuts. They used the pepper in an attempt to prevent dogs from being able to track their scent. As for the peanuts, that’s what they planned to eat.
Both men are currently located at the prison’s medical center for treatment and evaluation.