Inmates detail guards failure to notice escape from Hampton City Jail

Posted at 11:11 PM, Oct 04, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-04 23:11:41-04

He claims he is innocent.

“I’m saying I didn’t do it. The film will show I didn’t do it, case closed,” said John Lewis, who now faces up to 5 years in prison for aiding and abetting in the escape of Michael Stanback from the Hampton City Jail back on September 25th.

His case, though, is different than most inmates' because he has the actual escapee on his side.


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“It was all me,” said Stanback. “I don’t know how they are going to charge people with no reason, they didn’t help me do anything.”

Stanback spoke with NewsChannel 3 a second time on Thursday, wondering what evidence Hampton Sheriff’s deputies had against fellow inmates Tyshaun Baker, John Lewis and William Stanley.

We tried contacting the Sheriff’s department, but they wouldn’t go on camera. The only thing they have addressed is the breakdown of jailhouse policy that led to the escape.

For example, 15 minute safety checks are supposed to be conducted by jail staff, but the day Stanback escaped, that didn’t happen.

“It’s a joke. They are trying to cover their bases, but what it is—they lost an individual, and now they are trying to cover up for it, plain and simple,” said Lewis.

Guards also made mistakes during a headcount after recreation time as well as an informal headcount 45 minutes later. Lewis says it was during dinner.

“They call your name, you come get your tray with your chow, and I guess someone got his tray,” said Lewis.

Three hours passed before deputies realized Stanback was missing.

“All this blaming the inmates for what you are responsible for, that don’t fly. You can’t hold me accountable for your job, your job is to make sure everyone stays in  the recreation yard,” said Lewis.

“If that’s the way for them to cover themselves up, they are going to do it,” said Stanback.