UPDATE: Kanawha commissioners discuss cost of returning escaped inmate Todd Boyes

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CHARLESTON. W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 12/14/17 @ 11:26 p.m.
Money to cover the costs of bringing Todd Boyes back to West Virginia was approved by Kanawha County Commissioners on Thursday.

In total the transport of Boyes from Texas to West Virginia cost Kanawha County taxpayers $5,786.

Commission President Kent Carper says that money will be reimbursed by the state.

Boyes escaped from the South Central Regional Jail in October. He was found in the river by Mexican authorities during an escape attempt to Mexico.

Boyes was brought back to West Virginia on Sunday evening and is currently being held at the South Western Regional Jail.



UPDATE 12/12/17 @ 12:58 p.m.
The man accused of walking out of a jail just days before his sentencing has finally been sentenced for those charges.

Todd Boyes is looking at spending the next few years behind bars.

Boyes pleaded guilty in September to having a stolen vehicle, running from police and causing bodily injury.

On Tuesday, the judge sentenced him on all three charges.

The stolen vehicle and fleeing charges each carry a 1-5 year sentence. The bodily injury charge is 3-10 years. He'll serve those consecutively.

At maximum, Boyes could serve the next 20 years in jail.

The charges stem from an incident in February 2017, when officers say Boyes took police on a 45 minute pursuit then rammed into a cruiser and sent an officer to the hospital.

He was already wanted for several car jackings in Ohio.

Boyes still faces an escape charge for walking out of the South Central Regional Jail on October 25. That case is headed to the grand jury.



UPDATE 12/11/17 @ 2:30 p.m.
An inmate who walked out of the South Central Regional Jail in late October is now being held in a new location.

As of Monday afternoon, Todd Boyes had been transferred to the South Western Regional Jail. On top of his previous charges, he is also now charged for escape.

Boyes was brought back to West Virginia on Sunday evening. He was being held in Laredo, Texas, for about six weeks after escaping the jail in West Virginia on Oct. 25.

Boyes' escape came days before he was set to be sentenced after entering a guilty plea to having a stolen vehicle, running from police and causing bodily injury.

He was found in the river by Mexican authorities during an escape attempt to Mexico.

Boyes' mother was arrested and charged with picking him up after his escape and driving him to Texas.

Now that Boyes has returned to West Virginia, he is expected to be sentenced on his previous charges.



UPDATE 12/10/17 @ 7:35 p.m.
An inmate who walked out of the South Central Regional Jail in late October is now back behind bars in West Virginia again.

Todd Boyes was booked back into the South Central Regional Jail at 6:15 Sunday night.

Kanawha County Prosecutor Chuck Miller told WSAZ just days ago that Boyes was expected to be coming back soon from Laredo, Texas. Boyes denied his identity at an extradition hearing in November, thereby requiring a governor’s warrant and a DNA test to bring him back.

Boyes walked out of the South Central Regional Jail on October 25, but it was not reported until two days later. Three jail employees are being charged as a result.



UPDATE 12/6/17 @ 4:55 p.m.
Kanawha County Prosecutor Chuck Miller tells WSAZ that he expects jail escapee Todd Boyes to be back in West Virginia in the "very near future."

Miller says that his office received an email from authorities in Laredo, Texas, where Boyes is currently being held, saying that he is authorized for return.

At an extradition hearing in November, Boyes denied his identity which required a governor's warrant and a DNA test.

Miller says that his office is arranging for transport through the Prisoner Transport Service. The organization knows that Boyes is an escape risk and says two agents will be with him as they drive back to West Virginia.

Boyes escaped from the South Central Regional Jail in Kanawha County on Oct. 25, but it was not reported until two days later. Three jail employees are facing misdemeanor charges as a result.

Boyes' escape came days before he was set to be sentenced after entering a guilty plea to having a stolen vehicle, running from police and causing bodily injury.

He was found in the river by Mexican authorities during an escape attempt to Mexico.

Boyes' mother was arrested and charged with picking him up after his escape and driving him to Texas.

Upon his return, Boyes is expected to be sentenced on his previous charges and be arraigned on new charges related to his escape.



UPDATE 11/29/17 @ 6:50 p.m.
We have new information after an escaped and now captured inmate, Todd Boyes, walked out of the South Central Regional Jail and made it all the way to the U.S.-Mexico border before he was caught.

Currently that is where he remains, awaiting extradition back to West Virginia, one month later.

WSAZ is continuing to ask the tough questions, as investigators try to figure out how an inmate escaped from jail, walked out the front door and went unnoticed for more than 36 hours.

Although the state is remaining tight-lipped about their ongoing investigation, WSAZ has uncovered new details through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and follow-up questions.

Five guards remain suspended without pay following the escape.

Jail spokesperson Lawrence Messina tells WSAZ that 29 percent of the jail's correctional officer positions are vacant during the month of November. That is up 33 percent from the time of the escape at the end of October.

In our FOIA request, WSAZ asked for a list of several documents, recordings and surveillance video. We received a response this week. The response, which the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority is legally required to answer, came after a follow up letter telling WSAZ the Regional Jail Authority needed an extra five business days to complete the request.

The final response, which WSAZ received Monday November 27, detailed that several of the requested items we cannot have access to because they are "part of an ongoing investigation and cannot be produced." Several other items we requested, for example roll call paperwork and attendance checks, we are told are not public record. Almost all of the surveillance video requested is exempt from FOIA.

WSAZ was allowed to view one surveillance video but not video record it. WSAZ's Jatara McGee viewed the video several times Wednesday afternoon at the jail.

We timed out that it took Boyes approximately five or six seconds to make it from the last gate, which should have been locked and guarded according to earlier statements from Messina, to the front door.

The video shows that no one was in the lobby area at the time of the escape. Messina tells WSAZ a guard only has to be in that area during regular business hours.

As for the exterior cameras, the ones that show the front entrance and parking lot, there is nothing to see there, because they do not record.

The jail tells WSAZ those cameras are only used for a live feed that the guards can watch. Messina says the cameras are not monitored 24/7; however, the room where it is monitored is staffed 24/7.

WSAZ asked the spokesperson if not having that video or knowing which direction Boyes escaped slowed down the manhunt. We also asked if video cameras have been installed outside since.

Messina declined to fully answer those questions or provide a comment fully addressing them. He says he can only say that the ongoing investigation will "address improving security" and "it's best to wait until the investigation is over to say how we will handle security going forward."

As far as the investigation at South Central Regional Jail goes, a spokesperson tells McGee there still is no timeline for when it will be completed.

Also, since Boyes still has not been extradited, Messina says investigators cannot interview Boyes if needed to complete the investigation, because he is still in Texas.

WSAZ confirmed with the West Virginia Governor's Office that the governor's warrant, which is needed to extradite Boyes back to West Virginia, has been signed and sent to Texas. According to the Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office, the governor of Texas will also need to sign the warrant before Boyes has a second extradition hearing and can be extradited.



UPDATE 11/2/17 @ 3:50 p.m.
It will be a while longer before Todd Boyes returns to West Virginia from a jail in Texas.

On Thursday in an extradition hearing in Laredo, Texas, Boyes denied his identity.

Officers now must get a Governor's Warrant and do a DNA test on Boyes before he can be extradited.

Boyes escaped the South Central Regional Jail last Wednesday.

Troopers say he was captured early Sunday morning in Laredo, Texas, as he was trying to cross into Mexico.

Boyes was in jail on an attempted murder of an officer charge.

Last February, police say he was involved in a police pursuit and rammed into a cruiser.



UPDATE 10/31/17 @ 4 p.m.
An escaped inmate who made the long drive to Texas is expected back in West Virginia later this week.

Todd Boyes' extradition hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

He faces additional charges for escaping the South Central Regional Jail last Wednesday.

Boyes was caught trying to cross the Mexican border early Sunday morning.

On Monday, troopers arrested his mother, Robin Helton, for driving Boyes to Texas after picking him up at the Walmart store in Southridge.



UPDATE 10/30/17 @ 8:30 p.m.
The mother of the man who escaped the South Central Regional Jail and helped drive him to Texas after that escape told West Virginia State Police troopers, "I'd do it again because he's my son."

That comment is a part of the criminal complaint narrative that spells out what Robin Helton, 62 Caldwell, Ohio, did after she received a phone call from her son, Todd Boyes, on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 25, after he left the jail.

According to WVSP, Boyes called his mother from the Walmart in South Charleston. The store is not far from the SCRJ.

The complaint states that around 7:45 a.m. Helton picked up her son at the McDonald's near the Walmart. According to information from the SCRJ given to WSAZ last week, Boyes walked out of the jail around 5:50 a.m. that day.

After getting in the car, Boyes informed his mother that he had escaped the jail and "needed her assistance in fleeing West Virginia." Helton told troopers and and United States Marshals Service in a telephone call that she agreed to assist him.

Helton also admitted to giving him $2,000 and driving him to Beaumont, Texas.

Troopers say Boyes was captured around 4 a.m. Sunday trying to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico.

In September, Boyes pleaded guilty to charges relating to a 45-minute long police pursuit. He was due to be sentenced on those charges Friday, two days before he escaped.



UPDATE 10/30/17 @ 5:45 p.m.
The mother of an inmate who walked out of South Central Regional Jail has been charged with helping him escape.

Troopers say Robin Helton is facing escape charges after she drove her son Todd Boyes to Beaumont, Texas before he tried to cross into Mexico.

Boyes was arrested Sunday morning in Texas after he was captured by Border Patrol.

He walked out of the South Central Regional Jail in plain clothes Wednesday morning, but jail officials say staff did not realize he was missing until Thursday evening.

In September, Boyes plead guilty to charges relating to a 45-minute long police pursuit. He was due to be sentenced on those charges Friday, two days before he made his escape.

Boyes will be extradited back to West Virginia, but there is no word at this time when that will be.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/29/17 @ 7 p.m.
An escaped inmate out of Charleston, West Virginia will spend the night in a Texas jail in Webb County, approximately 1,500 miles from where he escaped.

Todd Boyes walked out of the South Central Regional Jail in plain clothes Wednesday morning, but jail officials say staff did not realize he was missing until Thursday evening. West Virginia State Police were notified Friday morning. Four facility officers are on leave without pay pending the results of the investigation, according to a spokesperson.

In September, Boyes plead guilty to charges relating to a 45 minute long police pursuit. He was due to be sentenced on those charges Friday, two days before he made his escape. He will now face additional charges once extradited back to West Virginia. Sunday, investigators say they do not yet know when the extradition will happen.

Boyes' more than 36 hour head start made tracking him difficult for law enforcement, who quickly spanned the search to Ohio where Boyes is from.

"We remember dealing with him, and we remember that he doesn't have a lot of ties to West Virginia, so immediately we got the US Marshals involved," Trooper Tiffany Huffman tells WSAZ. "We did everything we could to find out everything we could about this man, where he might be, where he might go, because he was such a high-risk inmate and such a dangerous guy."

Law enforcement in West Virginia and Ohio spent the weekend searching for Boyes or clues for where he could be.

While they were searching, Boyes was headed to Texas. Troopers tell WSAZ someone picked up Boyes from near the South Central Regional Jail and drove him to Laredo, Texas. Troopers are not releasing the identity of the driver at this time but do say that person is expected to face serious charges, possibly at the federal level.

Troopers say Boyes was captured around 4:00 a.m. Sunday trying to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico.

"Pretty sure he was wet, still wet from the river. It was very close, and we're very fortunate, cause that's how close he was," Huffman explains.

The license plate of a car investigators believed Boyes could have been in was pinged in Laredo, Texas. That is when troopers immediately notified Border Patrol and police agencies in the area.

"We figured he was heading for the border and getting out of the country, so we couldn't touch him," Huffman says.

There is no word at this time when Boyes will be extradited to West Virginia.

Keep clicking WSAZ for the latest developments on this story.


UPDATE 10/29 @ 9:45 a.m.
An escaped inmate considered armed and dangerous has been captured by the Border Patrol trying to cross into Mexico.

The Border Patrol says Todd Boyes was captured at roughly 4:00 a.m. Sunday trying to cross the Rio Grande into Mexico at Laredo, Texas.

Boyes has been on the run since walking out of South Central Regional Jail in the early morning hours last Wednesday.



UPDATE 10/28 @ 4:07 p.m.
An inmate changed into street clothes and walked out of a Kanawha County jail in the early hours Wednesday morning. It wasn't reported to police for almost 48 hours, and a manhunt is now underway.

We're now learning four facility officers have been suspended without pay pending the completion of the investigation.

The inmate at the center of this, 44-year-old Todd Boyes, is considered armed and dangerous. If seen, you're not to approach Boyes and call police immediately.

Stay with WSAZ for updates on this continuing story.



UPDATE 10/27/17 @ 11:25 p.m.
An attorney from Charleston says that he alerted jail staff to the escape of an inmate on Wednesday, the day it happened.

Attorney Kevin Davis said that his client called him Wednesday morning saying that he had a life or death situation to tell him about.

It was around 4 p.m. Wednesday when Davis was able to get to the jail and meet with his client. That's when he told him that someone named Todd who had his fingers blown off had somehow gotten civilian clothes and escaped.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety confirms that Todd Boyes, 44 of Caldwell, Ohio, was able to obtain khaki pants and a green or gray pullover and left South Central Regional Jail in Kanawha County around 5:50 Wednesday morning.

The public and authorities were not alerted until 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Attorney Davis said that he wrote the information his client gave him down on a legal pad and handed the note to the guards as he walked out of his meeting with his client. He says the officers read it and the male officer folded it and put it in his pocket.

The next day Davis, and his paralegal Jodi Fallecker, say that his client called him asking if he had alerted the jail staff because nothing had been done.

Davis said the pair had the conversation on the jail's recorded phone line.

WSAZ has reached out to the DMAPS about this situation and has not heard back yet. We will keep working for answers.



UPDATE 10/27/17 @ 6 p.m.
Law enforcement is still searching for a man who escaped from South Central Regional Jail in Charleston nearly two days before he was reported missing from his cell.

The escapee, Todd Wayne Boyes, 44, of Caldwell, Ohio, is considered armed and dangerous.

Lawrence Messina, director of communications for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety, released a statement Friday afternoon.

The statement says an ongoing investigation shows that somehow Boyes was able to obtain khaki pants and a dark green or grey zip up jacket. He was able to escape in those clothes posing as a civilian or trusty within the jail.

That happened at 5:50 a.m. Wednesday morning.

According to the release, the man's disappearance was not reported to jail staff in three formal end-of-shift head counts and two informal overnight counts.

Jail staff were finally alerted to the man's escape after a formal headcount at 7 p.m. Thursday, according to the statement.

The statement from the Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety ends by saying:

"Officials at both the Regional Jail Authority and the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety consider the incident to be a grave and unacceptable breach of their core duty to protect their fellow West Virginians. We intend to address the episode and the results of the ongoing investigation with the utmost seriousness."

Police have been out looking for Boyes since he was reported missing from the jail.

Boyes pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to having a stolen vehicle, running from police and causing bodily injury. He was scheduled to be sentenced on the charges Friday morning.

Boyes is 5 feet 6 inches tall, 220 pounds, bald and clean shaven.



UPDATE 10/27/17 @ 7:40 a.m.
West Virginia State Police tell WSAZ a man who escaped from a jail in Charleston was on the run for nearly two days before he was reported missing from his cell.

Todd Wayne Boyes, 44, of Caldwell, Ohio, is considered armed and dangerous and police are out actively searching for him.

State Police say Boyes escaped from South Central Regional Jail at 1001 Centre Way in Charleston about 5:48 a.m. Wednesday, but he wasn't reported missing from his cell until 12:40 a.m. Friday.

Troopers say the inmate somehow obtained khaki pants, a dark-colored shirt and white shoes. He changed into these clothes in his cell and managed to walk out of the South Central Regional Jail, according to state police.

Police have been out looking for Boyes since he was reported missing from the jail.

Boyes pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to having a stolen vehicle, running from police and causing bodily injury. He was scheduled to be sentenced on the charges Friday morning.

Metro 911 has issued a Public Safety Notification.

Boyes is 5 feet 6 inches tall, 220 pounds, bald and clean shaven.

He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, dark-colored pullover shirt, and tan pants.

One month ago, Boyes pleaded guilty to having a stolen vehicle, running from police and causing bodily injury. Last February, Boyes was involved in a police pursuit that lasted 45 minutes.

Police say Boyes rammed into a cruiser and sent an officer to the hospital.

He was already wanted for several carjackings in Ohio. West Virginia State Police say multiple agencies are involved in the search for Boyes. They are working with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, along with agencies in other states.

At this time, they have not received any tips about a possible location.

Metro 911 says do not approach Boyes; call 911 immediately if you see him.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
A man accused of the attempted murder of an officer who was awaiting his sentencing which was scheduled for today has escaped from the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, and is considered armed and dangerous.

Todd Boyes pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to having a stolen vehicle, running from police and causing bodily injury.

Metro 911 has posted a Public Safety Notification. Boyes is 5'6, 220 lbs., bald and clean shaven. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, dark colored pull over shirt, and tan pants. He is considered armed and dangerous.

Last February, Boyes was involved in a police pursuit that lasted 45 minutes.

Police say Boyes rammed into a cruiser and sent an officer to the hospital.

He was already wanted for several carjackings in Ohio.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for updates.




 
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