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One Escapee Recaptured; Two Women Charged

June 15, 1988

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ One of five inmates who cut their way out of jail was recaptured today, and two women were charged with aiding the escape by smuggling in hacksaw blades in a jigsaw-puzzle box, officials said.

About 50 officers searched for the four remaining escapees, one of them a confessed double killer and a second facing murder charges, since their escape Sunday night from what was considered an escape-proof jail.

Jeffrey Charles Minnick, 22, surrendered peacefully about 6:30 a.m. in his hometown of Hope Mills, 10 miles from here, said Harold Little, a sheriff’s spokesman. Minnick was serving time for sexual offense and burglary.

Also this morning, Tonya Harris, 20, and Barbara Ann Murrah, 19, were charged with providing weapons to an inmate, said Little.

Ms. Harris, he said, told authorities she sent the blades in a puzzle box to Jeffery Meyer at the request of Meyer and another inmate, Frederick Glenn Evans.

Meyer, 21, who remains at large, pleaded guilty in the ″ninja murders″ of an elderly Cumberland County couple in 1986. Meyer, a former soldier at nearby Fort Bragg, and a co-defendant wore black clothes and carried weapons used by Japanese assassins, authorities said.

Evans, 20, apparently slipped during the escape Sunday night and fell to the ground while trying to descend from the fourth floor, authorities said. He was in critical condition at Highsmith-Rainey Memorial Hospital.

The men escaped from their cellblock after sawing through floor plates to which bars are welded and then apparently cutting one of the steel bars, authorities said. They used the broken bar to smash a window, then tied sheets together to reach the ground, authorities said.

Among the escapees was Jerry Ronald Pond Jr., 24, who was charged in January with murdering a 23-year-old man.

Sheriff Morris Bedsole said he would meet with architects of the 13-year- old Law Enforcement Center to determine whether a contractor met specifications in installing bars.

Architect Dan MacMillan said the bars were supposed to be impervious to normal hacksaw blades.

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