2 escaped murderers still at large The 2 inmates fled prison bus stopped at red light.

July 02, 1991|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Evening Sun Staff

Baltimore police continued to search today for two escaped murderers, both longtime inmates and both within months of possible parole, who fled from a prison bus returning them from part-time jobs.

Police were looking for Levi A. Hudson, 48, who was sentenced to life plus 20 years for two murders in 1966, and George Edward Jolley, 59, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1973 for murder, according to Leonard A. Sipes, a state prison spokesman.

The two Baltimore men escaped yesterday afternoon through the rear door of a state prison system bus that had stopped at a red light at the corner of Ensor and Hillen streets in downtown Baltimore, Sipes said.

He said the bus was bringing the men, both of them minimum-security inmates, back to the Baltimore City Correctional Center from the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup, where they built furniture for use by state government.

None of the other 35 inmates on the bus escaped. An unarmed correctional officer on board the bus notified Baltimore police of the escape, Sipes said.

Minimum-security inmates often travel to and from job sites in unsecured buses, without restraints such as leg irons and without armed guards, Sipes said. The bus' rear door was apparently unlocked, he said.

State prison officials were baffled at the escapes since both men were long-time prisoners and both were within a few months of a parole hearing, Sipes said.

Hudson was scheduled for a parole hearing next February and had a clean prison disciplinary record since July 1989, Sipes said. Jolley was scheduled for a parole hearing in September and he had a clean prison record since 1975, Sipes said.

Jolley was convicted of beating a 31-year-old East Baltimore woman to death with a hammer in her home in October 1972. Jolley's home at the time of his sentencing in 1973 was in the 100 block of S. Exeter St.

Hudson was convicted of killing a Hampden grocery store owner during a holdup in 1966. There was no information available about Hudson's second murder conviction.

Hudson made the news in 1980 when he filed a $1.6 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore charging that his civil rights were violated by female correctional officers who had seen him naked. A federal judge agreed and ordered the state to stop assigning female guards in places where male inmates undressed.

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