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Pinellas jail inmate facing 30 years tries to escape

LARGO — Pinellas deputies thwarted a jail escape attempt Monday by a man who was sentenced to 30 years in prison last week.

Jean Lafalaise, 28, pulled a fence open and left a recreation yard at the Pinellas County Jail around 9:30 a.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

He was caught after a deputy saw him trying to scale a perimeter fence. He suffered cuts and scrapes from trying to scale the barbed-wire fence, sheriff's officials said.

Lafalaise was moved to the medical wing of the jail and placed on medical observation and suicide watch.

On May 25, Lafalaise was sentenced as a habitual offender to 30 years in prison for robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, grand theft, failure to appear and other charges.

Lafalaise, of Belle Glade, and two other men were charged with armed robbery in January 2007 after a Seminole jewelry store was robbed.

He was still at the jail until he could be transferred to a state prison.

The incident will be investigated by the detention investigation unit and reviewed by the sheriff's administrative investigative division, as agency policy dictates.

Pinellas jail inmate facing 30 years tries to escape 05/31/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 9:27am]
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