Ector County Inmates May Have Had Help from the Inside

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY--The Sheriff's Office is doing damage control after two inmates escaped from the Detention Center Saturday and a third tried to break out on Sunday.

The weekend's events have left many people asking what's going on?  Now, Sheriff Mark Donaldson is answering some tough questions and says he's cracking down and making changes.

Donaldson says that up until now, they've had little to no problems with inmates escaping or trying to escape from the Ector County Detention Center. Obviously, that record was shattered in one weekend.

The escape of Robert Dudley and Ricky Taylor on Saturday and the attempted escape of Eddie Palma on Sunday, leaves a lot of questions in the minds of many people. Mainly, how can two similar events be allowed to happen, within day of each other?

The current Detention Center was built in 1996 to jail standard specifications. Sheriff Donaldson admits there are some maintenance issues that need to and are being addressed. But there are other possibilities that need to be considered.

Donaldson thinks some of these inmates may have had a helping hand from someone inside the Detention Center itself.

"We may have had somebody that actually helped them, provided them with something to be able to get out, the way they got out. If they hadn't had a specific piece of equipment, which was basically a hacksaw blade, then they wouldn't have been able to get out the way they got out," Donaldson SAID.

If it is found that a Detention Center employee helped in any way with the Palma's attempted escape or Dudley's and Taylor's escape that person will face criminal charges.

It is also not known who provided Dudley and Taylor with the motel room on Saturday. That investigation is ongoing.

Donaldson wants the public to know, his department is committed to doing their job and doing it better. Their goal is to ensure public safety and keep inmates inside the walls of the facility.