A convicted murderer and armed robber who escaped from a state Department of Corrections van yesterday remained at large today, a state corrections spokesman said.
Wade P. Redfern, 43, whose last known address on Mosher Street, escaped at 7:40 a.m. while being transported from the Baltimore City Correctional Center to the Brock Bridge Correctional center in Jessup, where it was to be determined if he were qualified for a job picking up litter.
When he escaped, he was unrestrained and under minimum security at the time in an unlocked van. The spokesman said Redfern was considered a model prisoner.
In June, Redfern was sent to the city correctional center to serve out his life sentence for murder and armed robbery, said Len Sipes, spokesman for the Maryland Division of Corrections.
"He was the only prisoner in the van with the correctional officer," Sipes said. "They stopped at an intersection at a red light" at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Fayette Street.
"He opened the door and escaped," Sipes said.
The guard lost sight of him, and immediately notified police, Sipes said.
If Redfern had been under maximum security, he would have been handcuffed and shackled, and the guard would have been armed and the door locked, Sipes said.
Sipes said Redfern wasn't a violent and unruly inmate.
Redfern was scheduled for a second parole hearing in December 1991. He had been denied parole at least once before, Sipes said.
"He worked his way from maximum security in the Maryland Penitentiary to minimum security," Sipes said.
Redfern was going to the Jessup facility for a "psychological test to establish if he was suitable for placement in a work crew, picking up litter on state highways," Sipes said.
When he escaped, Redfern was wearing a red windbreaker, blue jeans and tennis shoes.
"We consider all escapees from the Division of Corrections to be dangerous," Sipes said.
Redfern has served in prison since September 1970, when he was given a life sentence, Sipes said.