Documents Detail Botched Ionia Prison Escape

IONIA, Mich. (February 12, 2014)- A little over a week after convicted murderer Michael Elliot escaped an Ionia County prison, we’re taking a closer look at a similar escape attempt that happened just a few weeks earlier.

Michigan Department of Corrections spokesperson Russ Marlan says investigators asked Elliot about the December escape attempt and he denies the two had anything to do with each other.

“With 43,400 prisoners in 31 prisons we have escape attempts almost on a daily basis,” Marlan said.

Though MDOC says escape attempts are a frequent occurrence, but questions remain of seemingly similar attempts of the two dangerous men at the Ionia County Prison.

New documents detail the Dec. 14 escape attempt by Lekeldric Porter.  He’s serving time for a 2005 armed robbery and assault with attempt to commit murder in Grand Rapids.

The documents show Porter got over the first of two fences, the same fence Elliot got through.

Marlan says there are motion sensors all along the fence that are designed to go off.

“ I think there were some issues that evening, Super Bowl Sunday, when prisoner Elliot passed through the area where our motion sensors operate,” he said.

The documents detailing the escape say an officer and a lieutenant went into the monitor room and watched the activated zones on the monitor screens and observed a lot of plastic moving along the top of the zones before realizing it was a prisoner.

Marlan says Porter dresses himself in a way he felt would shield him from the surge of electricity.

That’s where the two escape attempts take very different turns.  The documents say several officers headed toward Porter including one with a 12-gauge shot gun.

Marlan says a taser was used in between the two fences and porter was put into custody and placed into restraints. He says it would have been extremely difficult or impossible for him to get over that second fence.

Marlan says Porter’s escape attempt is an example of a security system and staff response that worked, a stark difference from Elliot’s escape.

“No doubt there will be continued changes,” Marlan said.

He says the director has put together a plan to enhance the security not only at the Ionia Correctional Facility but our 31 prisons across the state.

Two employees at the Ionia Correctional Facility have been suspended pending the investigation into Elliot’s escape.

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