Employees killed in foiled US prison break

Two employees were killed in foiled North Carolina prison break

Authorities early Friday identified two employees killed during an attempted inmate escape from a North Carolina prison.

In a news release, the state Department of Public Safety said Justin Smith, 35, and Veronica Darden, 50, were killed Thursday during the attempted breakout from Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City.

Smith was a correctional officer at the prison’s sewing plant, where Darden trained inmates making safety vests and other embroidered items, according to officials. Details of their deaths weren’t released.

Three other employees remained hospitalized, and four inmates were treated for injuries, officials said.

Smith and Darden were killed after inmates started a fire at the prison sewing plant in an attempt to escape, officials said Thursday. But prisons spokesman Keith Acree said officials did several counts after the fire and all 725 inmates were accounted for.

The prison near the northeast North Carolina coast houses nearly 900 adult, male felons in both high-security and minimum-custody buildings. Minimum-security prisoners work outside the walls on road gangs for the county recycling department and performing other community labour.

The prison has reported other incidents this year. In April, an argument between two inmates at the prison led to one prisoner stabbing the other several times in the upper torso. Two months earlier, a guard was charged with trying to smuggle illegal drugs, phones and cigarettes behind prison walls.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper offered his condolences for the deaths in a statement late Thursday.

“Those who work in our prisons do a difficult and demanding job that is critical to our safety,” he said.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

2.5 years in Penticton courthouse over neighbour assault ends

Man pleaded guilty, withdrew, stood trial, pleaded guilty to assault described by Crown as ‘vicious’

Country star takes a dip for charity

Brett Kissel went for a dip in Okanagan Lake while in Penticton to raise money for Her International

Pursuit of Excellence defeats OHA in female prep hockey final

Okanagan Hockey Academy lost to Pursuit of Excellence 6-3 at the CSSHL final in Penticton

Oliver holds onto Wine Capital of Canada designation

It might be hard to swallow for other communities but Oliver remains Wine Capital of Canada

Carmi students start their day with Olympic inspiration

Brent Hayden, 2012 swimming bronze medalist, waded through Penticton and Summerland schools

What’s happening

Find out what events are taking place this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read