Local News

DOC official: Internal investigation underway after inmate escape

Posted July 8, 2010 9:49 p.m. EDT
Updated July 9, 2010 5:51 a.m. EDT

— A state Department of Correction official said an internal investigation is underway after an inmate escaped from an Alexander County prison last week.

Xavier Shaw, 45, was on a work-assignment to build a minimum security facility at Alexander Correctional Institution in western North Carolina when he escaped. Authorities said he escaped by hiding inside a truck at the work site.

Shaw, who was sentenced to prison for kidnapping and robbery charges, was considered to be in medium-security custody.

The work facility was guarded by at least seven officers tasked to guard the detail of between 80 and 100 prisoners. The work area was also surrounded by double fencing and razor wire.

“Our staff made mistakes. We have procedures to prevent these types of incidents from happening. Our procedures are no better than the people who carry them out,” DOC Deputy Secretary James French said.

French said they are investigating to determine who is responsible for the breakdown in procedures. Once the internal investigation is complete, disciplinary action could be taken against the officer or officers responsible, French said.

Correction officers are now required to thoroughly search every truck before it leaves the compound, he said.

Shaw's sentence would've ended Aug. 30, but he has charges pending in Wake County in a January bank robbery.

Investigators believe neighborhoods in north Raleigh or the Wakefield area could provide clues about Shaw's whereabouts.

Anyone who has seen him or has information on his whereabouts is asked to call local law enforcement or Alexander Correctional Institution at 828-632-1331.