Ohio inmates spent months making ladder used in prison escape

By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An inmate convicted of killing three teenagers in an Ohio high school shooting spent months with two other prisoners fashioning a 13-1/2-foot long ladder they used in a prison escape in September, a state prison report released on Friday said. T.J. Lane, serving a life sentence for the 2012 shootings in Chardon, Ohio, northeast of Cleveland, and fellow inmates Lindsey Bruce and Clifford Opperud, were all recaptured within hours of the escape from a prison in Lima. The inmates were able to pick a padlock to a door on a maintenance access area, which is similar to a crawl space, and used materials stored there to make the ladder, the report said. They used the ladder on Sept. 11 to get to the roof of an administration building at the prison entrance during an evening recreation period and then jumped 15 feet to the ground outside to escape through a soybean field, the report said. Bruce was caught nine minutes after the escape, Lane early the next morning in a wooded area near the prison and Opperud three hours after Lane. Lane, who turned 20 about a week after the escape attempt, wore a T-shirt with the word "killer" hand-printed in capital letters on it to his sentencing in 2013. He had pleaded guilty to killing three people and wounding three others. The three inmates were being held in housing designed to separate them from the general population for their own safety when they escaped, the report said. They were transferred to the state's highest security prison after their escape. The recreation yard they escaped from remains closed at the 1,600-inmate prison and the prison has increased supervision during recreation periods and increased razor ribbon fencing among other changes, the report said. (Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Sandra Maler)

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