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Man implicated in jail escape changes plea to guilty

January 31, 2014

BY JUSTIN MINYARD
news@dailytimesleader.com

West Point local Austin Parker, 20, retracted a plea of not guilty and went forward with a guilty plea Jan. 24 for a felony escape charge along with a burglary of a dwelling charge.
Parker and fellow detainee Jonathan O’Brien, 21, were the talk of the town last September after pulling off a jailbreak from the Clay County Detention Center.
In a past interview, Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott said both Parker and O’Brien, at some point during their stay in the jail, discovered a small breach in a recessed light fixture within the detention center. After masterminding a method of escape, Scott said both detainees managed to squeeze their way through the small hole, which led to the facility’s attic.
“It was a fairly small hole, but they were just small enough to worm their way through it,” Scott said.
After working their way to the easternmost edge of the detention facility, Scott said one of the detainees “kicked open” a “big vent,” which led them directly outside of the building. After dropping from the opening, Scott said both O’Brien and Parker floored it, with assistance from outside parties, to Houston.

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