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Virginia jail aware some locks were failing months before inmate escape, records show

Posted at 11:19 PM, May 02, 2023

FARMVILLE, Va. -- Five months ago, leaders at the Piedmont Regional Jail were aware certain locks at the facility needed to be replaced, according to minutes from the Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Board.

The superintendent of the jail confirms that the two inmates who escaped over the weekend manipulated the locking mechanism on the rear door of the jail.

Alder Marin-Sotelo, 26, and Bruce Carroll Callahan, 44, remain at large.

Marin-Sotelo faces murder charges in connection to the killing of a Wake County, North Carolina, sheriff's deputy.

Surveillance video captured both men escaping from the jail 22 hours apart, but it is not known whether or not they were working together.

The Piedmont Regional Jail Authority Board has discussed locks at the jail during the past four meetings, according to minutes posted online.

In January, the minutes noted "the current locks are failing" in four pods.

During the next two meetings, the jail was taking steps to enter into a contract with a company to install new locks in those four pods, but in the latest publicly available minutes from their March meeting, the process was ongoing to install new locks in at least three of the pods, the minutes said.

What is not clear from the minutes available is how widespread the lock issue was throughout the jail.

We also do not know to which pod the Marin-Sotelo and Callahan were assigned.

The Piedmont Regional Jail and the Prince Edwards County Sheriff's Office have not responded to requests for further comment on this matter.

The Piedmont Regional Jail Authority is calling a special meeting next week.

Marin-Sotelo was convicted of unlawful possession of a gun by a person who is not a U.S. citizen. Callahan was convicted of federal drug charges.

Both men have ties to North Carolina.

Marin-Sotelo had help in planning and executing his escape, according to court documents.

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