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Brick Wall Couldn't Stop Inmate. His Dad Finally Did

Jace Martin Laws' Texas prison escape didn't last long after his father spotted him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2019 1:38 PM CST

(Newser) – A Texas inmate who authorities say carved his way through a brick wall to escape prison has been recaptured. Per KLTV, the Gregg County Sheriff's Office first made the announcement Thursday on 34-year-old Jace Martin Laws' prison break from the county's South Jail in Longview. In a Facebook post, the sheriff's office says Laws "carved out portions of the brick in the [jail], gaining access to the building infrastructure, and making his way to the exterior Gregg County Courthouse." On Friday, however, a post on the sheriff's office Facebook page noted Laws' breakout was short-lived. "Escaped inmate Jace laws is back in custody as of this morning!" the brief update announced. And police have the inmate's father to thank.

Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano tells KLTV that Laws, who'd shaved his head since his self-administered release, was first spotted around 3:30am Friday near the Gladewater airport, where he was reportedly seen shaking doors and trying to get into buildings. About an hour later he was seen at a nearby cabin, and cops set up a perimeter around the structure—but Cerliano says he was still able to get away. How Laws finally got busted: Laws' father tells the Longview News-Journal he spotted his son at his body shop, which is on the same property as his home, between 8:30 and 9am. He called police, and the younger Laws was taken into custody without incident. Cerliano says before his escape, Laws—who had been sentenced to 70 years for assaulting a police officer—was a model prisoner, adding he must've had help busting out, per KWTX. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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