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Ex-Prison Staffer Probed in Escape

May 22, 1999

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Racy photos of a former prison psychologist found in the cell of one of two escapees have led to questions about whether she helped the men once they scaled a fence topped with razor wire and fled.

State police are investigating Elizabeth Feil, 43, in connection with the escape Tuesday of Byron Lester Smoot and Gregory Lee Lawrence, said Ms. Feil’s lawyer, Isaac Dixon. Both inmates were recaptured two days later.

Police said the inmates had at least one accomplice, but they wouldn’t say if they believed it was Ms. Feil. Dixon declined to provide his client’s whereabouts, and she has not been charged in the case.

Ms. Feil’s husband, Glenn Bosshard, accused his wife of having an affair with Smoot. Bosshard based his allegations on photos of his wife that were found in Smoot’s cell at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup.

In the photographs, taken 11 years ago while the couple was on vacation, Ms. Feil is dressed in black lingerie and a garter belt, Bosshard said.

``We are estranged as of two days ago,″ he said Friday. ``Up until that point, I thought we were deeply in love. You have no idea how devastated I am by this.″

State troopers came to his Annapolis home early Wednesday morning and told him that his wife was a suspect in the escape, he said.

Lawrence, 39, was serving a life sentence for murder after shooting a man and stealing his shoes in 1978. Smoot, 38, was imprisoned for a rash of armed robberies and was sentenced to 29 years.

The two men walked past an unmanned guard tower and scaled two fences, one topped with razor wire.

Ms. Feil was employed as a psychologist at the Patuxent Institution maximum-security prison in Jessup, but was fired over a year ago, according to Bosshard.

``She told me she had been fired because she was trying to institute a program for better inmate conditions,″ said Bosshard. ``I had no reason not to believe her.″

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