Escaped Prisoner Shot - Maryland

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    [SIZE=+2]Escaped Prisoner Shot, Killed in Pr. George's[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]By Ruben Castaneda, Rosalind S. Helderman and Nelson Hernandez
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Wednesday, January 2, 2008; 5:03 PM[/SIZE]

    The state prisoner who escaped from Laurel Regional Hospital this morning by overpowering four correctional officers and then carjacking a vehicle was fatally shot this afternoon.

    Kelvin D. Poke was shot during a confrontation with the Prince George's County police at about 3:30 p.m. just inside the county line, police said, and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    A woman who was with him at the time of the shooting was being questioned, county police said, and it was unclear if she knew Poke.
    Poke, 45, was serving life plus 40 years in prison for a series of violent crimes. He was admitted to the hospital Monday after complaining of chest pains and then fled this morning in a blue 1993 Toyota Camry. The driver of that car was hospitalized in good condition.

    The search effort moved to the District after police recovered the Toyota, on fire, in the 1100 block of First Street NW. Police said Poke is believed to have then carjacked a white Ford Explorer.

    Earlier in the day, the hospital was placed on lockdown after Poke escaped, with employees instructed to remain in their offices. School system officials said five area schools were locked down: Laurel High School and Laurel, Deerfield Run, Oaklands and James H. Harrison elementary schools.

    "Everybody is working on the situation right now," said Suzanne Almalel, a spokeswoman for Dimensions Health, which manages the Laurel hospital. "We can't release any information because they're not revealing anything to us."

    Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman, said Poke overpowered two correctional officers -- under Department of Public Safety protocols, only one was armed -- who were assigned to guard him on the hospital's fourth floor. Two other correctional officers who were guarding another inmate responded and were also overpowered, Shipley said.

    According to court documents, Poke was 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 215 pounds in late 2005. At the time of the escape, he was wearing prison-issued jeans and no shirt.

    Poke fired several shots, Shipley said, but none of the officers was injured and it was unclear whether he fired at them or to break his leg shackles. Shipley said a private security guard then arrived, and Poke escorted him down a staircase and ordered him to lie on the ground.

    Poke then fired through the driver's side window of the Toyota, striking the 51-year-old driver in the head, and fled in the vehicle.

    One of the officers' .38-caliber handguns was later found in the stairwell, police said. Poke is believed to have the other weapon.

    Poke was serving a sentence of life plus 40 years at the maximum-security Jessup Correctional Institution for kidnapping, carjacking and robbery, according to a news release from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

    In his last criminal case, authorities alleged that Poke jumped a Hyattsville woman in the parking lot of her apartment building as she loaded luggage into her car just after midnight one night in October 2005, according to court documents.

    They said she fought back, but he overpowered her, forcing her into the passenger seat of her silver Mazda 626. He then demanded cash, taking $500 from the woman, before forcing her to the floor of the car and driving off with his hand clasped around her neck.

    According to the documents, Poke told the woman he was armed and threatened to rape her. Ultimately, he left her on the side of the road in Northeast Washington. U.S. Park Police found Poke with the car broken down on the side of George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia two days later.

    Almalel said hospital officials have been reviewing security at the Laurel facility since November, when another prisoner escaped police custody at the same hospital, sparking a five-hour manhunt. Almalel said a meeting this month with corrections and police officials will address standardizing prisoner control.

    Patrick Moran, the director of the state council of the union that represents correctional officers, said today's incident proves that officers should not carry weapons inside hospitals. The union has been pushing for a change in policy that would allow them to transport prisoners for medical attention under armed guard but to leave their guns out of hospitals, where they believe risks rise.

    "It's a closed setting," he said. "There's distraction. There's a lot of activity."

    Moran also said corrections officials should review what kinds of hospitals they contract with for inmate medical care.

    "These local hospitals have contracts for medical services and they're not prepared if a situation like this is to happen," he said.

    Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said the commissioner of corrections will look into the union's suggestions, including that officers not be armed in hospitals.

    "We're going to look into every aspect of this incident and see if any changes need to be made," he said.

    Anyone with information about Poke is asked to called the state police at 301-345-3101.

    Staff writer Howard Schneider and researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.
  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Probably a good thing they killed him or they might have had to add another 50 years on top of his life plus forty. I certainly hope they have a cheaper means of storing these criminals after they die. Joking aside, I would make every effort to escape if I were imprisoned for life, regardless of collateral damage. I do not believe that many would not. A man that is imprisoned for life has very little to loose. Men were not meant to be kept in cages like animals. Should just kill them and be done with it.
  3. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Once again I agree with Seacowboy. A .22 to the head would cost two cents with no possibility of the person ever being a problem again. Compare that to food, medical, and lodging for life with the possibility of a break out like this every now and then. It just doesn't make sense.
  4. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Actually sorry to have to say this but wrong.

    Plenty of cases where our illustrious justice system has convicted people and put them on death row, life, or already executed. Only to have DNA evidence exclude them and prove they were innocent the whole time. Look up the innocence project.

    Second point. It is far more expensive to put someone to death than imprison them for life. All the automatic appeals and the judicial process and involved costs runs into the milions to put to death one person.

    Don't think that I am against the death penalty. It is just that the two things I mentioned above gives me pause and something to think about.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Agree with both of you guys. Anyone sentenced to a mandatory 50 years or more should get the 2 cent solution. Costs way to much to keep them in there and like you said, they have nothing to lose so will most likely only be trouble.
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Although this certainly is a topic open for debate with valid points on both sides, the main point of my posting this seems to have been missed.
    I know I sound like a broken record but it doesn't appear as though the woman from Hyattsville did anything to avoid becoming a victim. She was so intent on loading her luggage in the trunk, it seems she failed to maintain any awareness of the danger that approached her. This reminds me so much of the scenario I described in the Personal Safety thread about the mother loading groceries and her baby in the car at the market.

    Be Alert and Be Aware
  7. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    I hear what you are saying. Most people live their life in "Code Green" and have no idea when there is danger around them unless it is totally obvious.
  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Monkey+++

    Again it you and I in the minority. Until the so called 'justice system' is unhooked from being a "punishment for profit" scheme everyone needs a of compassion. Very little of your tax dollars go directly to supporting prizons. Most of it goes to the corps who run them for their exec salary's. Prizons today are just a scam.

    But let me add, if the evidence IS overwhelming than Sea's solution is the most preferred way out.

    But given that everything today is plea-bargained so the bad guy does go into prizon (so he can have a bond placed against him) it is all about the money.

  9. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Yeah, it is a funny money making scheme. Here in california do you know what is the most powerful lobbying group is ? It's not the AARP it's the prison guard's union. They are so powerful they can push the governor and the legislature around.

    Fact number 2, at the rate prison spending is increasing vs how our education spending increases we will spend more money for prisons than education by 2012.

    Yeah, it is nothing more than a money making scheme.
  10. Evenglischatiest

    Evenglischatiest Monkey+++

    It's odd that you bring up education. My first thought on reading your last post is that it's the teacher's union that has the most power in California. The prison guard union certainly has an unusual amount of power here. But they're not even in the same league with the teachers.

    Spending more money on education won't help any more than spending more on prisons will. In both cases, the problem isn't funding. (it's not the teachers or the guards, either) Both systems are broken beyond repair.

    And there's no need for anyone to waste their time pushing the governator around. Just wait a few minutes, and he'll wander over your side for a while. I'm still looking for a position he HASN'T taken. :rolleyes:

    As for the 2 cent solution, I'm all for it, in principal. In actual practice, I think it requires an entirely different level of evidence than the standard currently used. Something like a body, a motive, 3 witnesses, forensic evidence, and NO other viable suspect. Maybe also a confession.

    In this particular case, the shooting doesn't bother me a bit. Cops have as much right to defend themselves are we're all SUPPOSED to have. And there's no question of guilt when the guy is currently shooting. I'm glad to see it taken care of without wasting any more of our money.
  11. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Nope, they are the MOST powerful lobbying group. It remains so today.

    Just the point that we are spending close to education as we do prisons is sad. The moment it surpasses spending on education, just where do our priorities lie ? Makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

    The issue in my mind was not this particular case. This one was cut and dry. It was seacowboy's assersion that an execution is cheaper than life imprisonment. That simply is not the case. Executing someone is far, far more expensive than keeping them locked up for life.
  12. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I'm actualy with hartage on this one.I don't know how many cases I've heard of; where evidence was fabricated or a person railroaded on to death row to be cleared later by dna(?)...

    In clear cases of heinous crime,bang.( I.E." John Couey", the guy who buried a little girl alive outside his trailer).
    but I no longer think the policeman is always your friend, and even if he is; the DA could be running for re election next year.
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