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Inmate Pulls A Jail Escape Straight Out Of 'Shawshank,' But Is Quickly Recaptured, Authorities Say

Jace Martin Laws had been sentenced to 70 years for assaulting a police officer, but managed to carve out a hole in a brick wall and briefly taste freedom.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Prison Escapes That Nearly Succeeded

Authorities in Texas have recaptured an escaped inmate who they say broke out of jail earlier this week by carving a hole in a wall.

Jace Martin Laws, 34, escaped from the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office South Jail by carving a hole in the brick wall and “gaining access to the building infrastructure,” at which point he “[made] his way to the exterior Gregg County Courthouse,” the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Laws was recaptured on Friday morning, one day after authorities announced his escape, the sheriff’s office said Friday.

The escapee was collared at a Smith County auto body shop, Laws Collision Repair, which is reportedly owned by Laws’ father and stepmother, Lt. Josh Tubb said, according to the Longview News-Journal.

Prior to his escape, Laws had been serving a 70-year sentence in the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office Jail for assaulting a police officer, according to the office. In that incident, Laws had been “grabbing, clutching, or squeezing” an officer’s genitals during an arrest, according to another report from the News-Journal.

A manhunt ensued following Laws’ escape; he was spotted on Thursday afternoon at the Gladewater airport, with a witness reporting that they’d seen the fugitive “rattling doors” and trying to get inside, the News-Journal reports. He was spotted an hour later at a cabin near the Sabine river.

Jace Martin Laws Pd

Because Laws was taken into custody in Smith County, he was transported to the Smith County Jail, where he was charged with the escape, but he is scheduled to be taken back to Gregg County, according to the News-Journal.

The Gregg County Criminal District Attorney’s Office confirmed Laws’ capture on Facebook on Friday, writing that he now “could face 20 stacked on top of his previous sentence!"

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