By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Two former correctional officers at the Liberty County Jail – Debra Korhorn, 61, and Teri Smith, 32 – have been arrested and charged with Tampering With a Government Document stemming from the Aug. 20, 2019, escape of two prisoners.
“They were part of the shift that was on duty the night of the escape and were working in the area when the two inmates escaped,” said Inv. Shandalynn Rhame with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Korhorn, Smith and two other correctional officers were placed on administrative leave and later terminated by The GEO Group, which manages the county jail. Arrest warrants have been issued for the other two correctional officers but they are not in custody at this time, according to Rhame.
“These four signed off on the count sheets, stating that they did a population count at the jail. They were assigned to certain dorms and are supposed to check on the prisoners within a certain time period. They said they had checked on them but the surveillance video from that night says otherwise,” Rhame said. “Their actions put the county at a greater risk.”
Rhame said that five prisoners were initially planning to escape but two whole dorms of prisoners potentially could have escaped.
“The guards endangered the citizens of Liberty County by not doing their jobs,” Rhame said.
The two escapees – Clay Sterling Harvey, 44, and Chance Marshall Hunt, 28 – had only a half-day of freedom before they were re-arrested in San Jacinto County on Aug. 20, 2019.
Harvey remains in the Liberty County Jail awaiting trial for Escape While Arrested or Confined, Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance and a parole violation. He also is being held on charges out of San Jacinto County for Evading Arrest or Detention With A Vehicle, Tampering or Fabricating Physical Evidence and Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
Hunt was sentenced to 15 years in prison for Escape While Arrested or Confined and three years for Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
Bluebonnet News will report on the arrests of the two other correctional officers when more information is available.
Original article about the prisoners’ capture: