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TMCNet:  Inmate who escaped gets 3 years in state prison

[December 17, 2012]

Inmate who escaped gets 3 years in state prison

Dec 18, 2012 (Centre Daily Times (State College - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Centre County Correctional Facility inmate who escaped from outside work duty in October will serve up to three years in state prison for the stunt.

Larry Thomas, 40, pleaded guilty Monday to felony charges of escape and theft by unlawful taking for walking away from jail and later stealing a pickup truck in Walker Township to make his getaway.

After accepting his plea, Judge Jonathan Grine sentenced Thomas to serve one and half to three years in state prison.

State police said Thomas ditched his orange jumpsuit while trimming weeds outside the CentrePeace building on Benner Pike on Oct. 25.

The next day, he was found driving a stolen pickup truck on Interstate 80 in Lawrence Township, Clearfield County. Thomas told police he had been walking for hours when he came upon the vehicle and decided to steal it.

Police alleged Thomas had received correspondence that gave him concern for his daughter and fiancee days before his escape. He had submitted a furlough request, but later told prison officials he was fine and wanted to continue as an outside volunteer worker.

Thomas' new sentence will run consecutively to the previous sentence that he was serving in the county jail.

He was ordered in September to serve 11 to 23 months in the county facility followed by five years probation for illegally possessing a firearm, a felony, according to court documents.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

___ (c)2012 the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.) Visit the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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