Violent Felon at Large After Brazen NM Escape

Inmates vanished between prisons
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2016 7:20 AM CST
Violent Felon at Large After Brazen NM Escape
This photo provided by the New Mexico Corrections Department shows inmate Lionel Clah.    (New Mexico Corrections Department via AP)

Lionel Clah is probably beginning to regret getting that big tattoo of a feather on his left cheek: Police hope it will help the public identify the escaped 29-year-old New Mexico inmate. Clah, convicted in 2009 of crimes including armed robbery with a deadly weapon, escaped from a prison van late Wednesday or early Thursday along with convicted murderer Joseph Cruz, who was recaptured in Albuquerque Friday evening, the AP reports. The shackled convicts, clad in white prison jumpsuits, made their getaway while being transported between facilities in Roswell and Las Cruces along with three other men. They were apparently able to slip away and hitch a ride while guards stopped for gas.

The prisoners—whose absence wasn't noticed until the van arrived at its destination, 200 miles away from the gas stop—were spotted on surveillance video at an Albuquerque hotel on Friday, with Clah wearing a red T-shirt and jeans, KOB reports. City residents have been told to lock their doors and warned that Clah, who shot at deputies before his 2007 arrest, should be considered armed and dangerous. He is described as Native American, 5-foot-11, with other tattoos including "Shiprock Native" on his neck, "Larissa" on his left wrist, "Mariah" on his right wrist, and "LRC" on his right fingers. (More New Mexico stories.)

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