Inmate's escape from Walker County Jail caught on video

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by Vicente Arenas / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 7, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 7 at 9:18 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The brazen escape of a Walker County Jail inmate last month was caught on surveillance video, and KHOU 11 News was able to get a copy.

In the video, Trent Archie and another inmate are seen using phones around 3 a.m. on June 28.

As the inmates use the phones, two jailers – a male and a female – are observing them from a booking area, behind a pane of glass.

The inmates stayed on the phones for about 22 minutes, with their heads down the entire time.

Walker County Sheriff Clint McRae says that was all part of their plan. In fact, the second inmate wasn’t even talking to anyone.

McRae said Archie and the other inmate were waiting for a staged fight, so they could break out of the jail. The men knew the jailers would open a door to the secured area to break up the fight.

When they did, Archie and the inmate can be seen barging into the booking area where the guards were sitting.

They scuffle with the jailers, and after about a minute, Archie makes it through another door, runs to a getaway car and escapes.

He was caught three days later in Houston.

The second inmate didn’t make it out of the jail.

"My staff did everything they could. They fought tooth and nail from the point the two inmates entered the booking area. They actually attempted to restrain and fight these individuals from the booking office all the way into an adjoining office which accesses the lobby in the front of the department," McRae said.

An investigation into the escape was ongoing Thursday, and it was not clear if anyone in the jail would be blamed for not following proper procedures.

The state hasn’t found any problems with the jail for the past five years. McRae, however, said his jail his old, and he needs a new one that would meet tougher security standards.

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