Mariposa County inmate's courthouse escape attempt fails

March 1, 2013 

A inmate held on alleged drug offenses tried to escape Thursday while at the Mariposa County courthouse -- but he didn’t make it very far.

The escape attempt happened around 10:45 a.m. at the 5099 Bullion St. courthouse. Correctional officers were escorting Jerry Richards, 59, and a small group of inmates away from a courtroom, according to Mariposa County Undersheriff Joel Bibby.

As the line of inmates had turned to be led down a staircase, Richards, who was in the middle of the group, turned in the opposite direction and fled on foot, Bibby said.

Richards tried to flee through a second floor fire escape door. He broke the door, which was made of wood and glass. Correctional officers, however, grabbed Richards before he was able to gain access to the ladder on the fire escape.

The defendant was taken into custody without further incident. He was taken to a Modesto hospital, due to cuts he suffered from breaking the glass on the fire escape door, Bibby said.

Bibby said the defendant's case will be forwarded to the Mariposa County District Attorney's Office, to determine whether he'll face additional charges for trying to flee from law enforcement.

-- Sun-Star staff

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