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Police: Second Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center employee charged with aiding in escape; search for inmates continues

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 12:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2020 at 10:48 AM EDT
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UPDATE (July 15, 10:37 a.m.)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia State Police says a second employee who worked at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center has been charged with helping two residents escape.

The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) says Jabar A. Taylor, 20, and Rashad E. Williams, 18, escaped in the early morning hours of Monday through a hole that had been cut in a security fence.

Destiny L. Harris, 23, of Chesterfield County, was arrested and charged Tuesday morning with two counts of aiding with the escape of a juvenile. State police said Harris, a Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice employee who worked at the Bon Air facility, is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail.

On the morning of July 15, the Virginia State Police says Darren Briggs, 42, of Lawrenceville, Va. and a Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice employee who worked at the Bon Air facility, was arrested and charged on one felony count of providing a cell phone to a prisoner.

Briggs was taken into custody without incident. Briggs is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail.

An investigation says the residents used a cord of undetermined origin to choke the security staff member, who briefly lost consciousness.

They took the staff member’s keys which they used to exit the unit and then escaped through a hole that had been cut in the facility’s perimeter security fence.

They then boarded and left in a vehicle that appears to have been waiting for them.

Police said at this stage in the investigation, it is believed that both the inmates have left Virginia.

“It’s a little scary. We’re all going to lock up more tightly now,” said Martha Mathews, who doesn’t live too far away from the facility, adding that her neighborhood is on high alert.

The older inmate, Taylor, was serving a 50-year sentence for stabbing two men to death in back in 2015. Williams’ malicious wounding and robbery charges are tied to Fredericksburg, where both men were processed before going to Bon Air.

They were set to transfer to an adult prison once they turned 21 years old.

“This is the first escape we’ve had at Bon Air in over 20 years,” DJJ Director Valerie Boykin said. “DJJ takes very seriously our role in promoting public safety, and are therefore releasing the names and photos of these young adults to aid in their apprehension, as allowed by the Virginia Code [16.1-309.1]. We are very concerned about how this happened and will fully investigate the circumstances and ensure that appropriate action is taken.”

“Last time I remember it happening was 1988; we’ve been here since then. That was a whole bunch of young kids who escaped. They were running around the neighborhood, from what I understand,” Mathews said.

Many neighbors say they are worried about their safety, but some took solace in the belief that the men may not be in the area anymore.

“We’re reassured that hopefully, they’re not around since we did hear that they left in a car,” Mathews added.

It was unclear whether the residents cut the hole in the fence, or whether the hole had been pre-cut, according to the investigation.

The staff member was treated and released from a nearby hospital emergency room.

DJJ says Taylor is from Spotsylvania County and was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated malicious assault. Taylor is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 138 pounds.

Williams is from Washington, D.C. and the DJJ says Williams was convicted of malicious wounding and robbery. Williams is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 140 pounds.

Virginia State Police responded to the scene to take evidence and statements from DJJ staff, and a search for the escapees got underway.

DJJ’s internal investigation unit also will complete an investigation regarding what transpired.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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