Local News

Three Inmates Shot Trying To Escape in Northampton County

Posted June 27, 1999

— Correctional officers shot and killed one prisoner and wounded two others Monday when the three tried to escape while weeding cotton on a Northampton County work farm, prison officials said.

Sixteen prisoners from maximum-security Odom Correctional Institution in Jackson were working at 2:55 p.m. when the three - all either convicted of murder or attempted murder - tried to flee, said Correction Department spokeswoman Patty McQuillan.

Two of the three officers with the work crew were armed. They fired their weapons once at the fleeing prisoners, who dropped to the ground, according to McQuillan. The prisoners then got up and ran across a road into a wooded area, where they were shot, according to prison superintendent Charles Hill.

"One officer fired his 223-rifle approximately 10 times," Hill said. "The other officer fired his 12-gauge shotgun approximately five times, and then he pulled his revolver and fired his revolver four times."

The spray of bullets killed 22-year-oldBem Holloway, 22, who was shot in the back. Wesley Turner, 22, who was shot in the chest and back, was taken to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville, where he was in critical condition Monday night.

Bennie Joyner, 23, was shot in the leg and shoulder, and taken to the hospital at Central Prison in Raleigh.

Holloway was going to stand trial for murder in Bladen County. He was also accused of the murder of a Columbus County woman in November 1998 and of the murder of a Lumberton store clerk.

Holloway was convicted in 1998 of the rape, robbery and kidnapping of a Wake County woman and her mother.

Odom Correctional Institution is about 12 miles southeast of Roanoke Rapids.

The prison houses inmates classified between medium and maximum security. The facility is a working farm. Inmates work on road detail and also in the fields. The facility houses more than 450 inmates.

From staff and wire reports.

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