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Inmates Learn the Hard Way: It’s Impossible to Escape

— May 20, 2019

A prisoner faces additional charges after trying to escape and triggering the sprinkler system. Meanwhile, a guard is behind bars for helping three men escape.

San Antonio inmate Matthew Fields faces additional charges after he triggered a sprinkler system during a failed prison escape attempt.  Fields allegedly climbed through the ceiling above his cell and made his way into a connecting stairwell.  He then ran up seven flights of stairs, and in the process, inadvertently set off a sprinkler system he hadn’t accounted for, flooding part of the Bexar County Jail’s basement.

All in all, Fields didn’t get very far, according to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, and was unable to leave the secured jail area before being apprehended.  He had only made it as far as the infirmary area of the facility.  Officers used tasers to take him back into custody.

Fields had initially been arrested for charges of criminal trespassing and now he faces additional charges of escape, criminal mischief, and assault on a public servant.  The inmate has also been accused of biting a deputy during a separate encounter.

Inmates Learn the Hard Way: It's Impossible to Escape
Photo by Denis Oliveira on Unsplash

Meanwhile, Sarina Dodson, the jail guard accused of helping three men escape from the Curry County Detention Center, in June 2018 was just sentenced to nine years behind bars for helping others escape.  Dodson accepted a plea agreement on three counts of third-degree felony assisting escape and one fourth-degree felony count of bringing contraband to inmates.

The three men she helped – Aaron Clark, Victor Apodaca, and Ricky Sena – escaped from the jail’s recreation area on June 15 of this year.  They, along with a fourth man, were arrested four days after their escape, on June 19, after a three-hour standoff with police.

According to officials, a gun had been pointed at officers during negotiations.  Police executed a search warrant on the residence in reference to the aggravated assault against the SWAT team, and a firearm was ultimately recovered.  All three were re-booked into the Curry County Detention Center.

Dodson was also arrested that same day.  The 28-year-old guard does not have a criminal history in the state of New Mexico but disclosed “she had prior mental health issues not detailed in open court.”  Dodson’s attorney’s request that his client undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation in the Department of Corrections prior to sentencing was previously granted.  Dodson’s attorney claimed his client’s involvement in the escape was an “isolated incident” and “out of character,” indicating she might be “more amenable to rehabilitation than some of the other individuals involved in this incident,” according to court records.

The defense attorney further argued that a diagnostic evaluation gives the court a more “full picture” prior to sentencing.  While the testing was approved by Judge Matthew Chandler, a republican, he disagreed with the “isolated incident” argument that was “out of character.”  In fact, he believed that her involvement had been planned for some time and Dodson knew full well what she was doing and the potential consequences of helping the men.

“This wasn’t a spontaneous decision, this was the result of days and weeks of planning,” said Judge Chandler. “We can all remember where we were when we heard that three dangerous inmates had escaped.  The ripple effect of fear spread across the community.”


3 escaped Curry County fugitives, 1 other suspect arrested in Clovis

Inmate sets off sprinkler system during failed escape attempt

Former Curry County detention officer sentenced for helping 3 inmates escape in July 2018

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