Sheriff: Error Led to Escape From Hospital

Newspaper reports says deputy took off inmate's handcuffs, leg shackles after he asked for shower

By Lita Beck
|  Thursday, Dec 6, 2012  |  Updated 12:26 AM CDT
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The inmate who escaped a Dallas hospital wrestled away his guard's gun after the deputy took off his handcuffs and leg shackles, according to court records obtained by a newspaper.

Scott Gordon, NBC 5 News

The inmate who escaped a Dallas hospital wrestled away his guard's gun after the deputy took off his handcuffs and leg shackles, according to court records obtained by a newspaper.

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Failure to Follow Procedures Led to Inmate Escape: Sheriff

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez said Tuesday a failure to follow procedures led to an inmate's escape from Parkland Hospital.

Escapee Caught After Stealing Deputy's Gun

A capital murder suspect who stole a deputy's duty weapon and escaped from a Dallas hospital Tuesday night is back in custody.
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A failure to follow procedures led to the escape by a capital murder suspect who fled a Dallas hospital with a deputy's duty weapon, the county sheriff says.

Franklin B. Davis, 30, escaped from Parkland Hospital on Tuesday night, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office said. He was taken into custody later that night after a brief standoff.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Lupe Valdez said a failure to follow procedures, not an issue of manpower, let to Davis' escape.

"Standard procedure requires for all inmates to be escorted at all times while on medical visits to Parkland," she said. "Procedures were not totally followed; an error was made."

According to court records obtained by the Dallas Morning News, Davis asked his lone guard if he could take a shower. The guard then took off Davis' handcuffs and leg shackles.

Davis, who had been at Parkland since Saturday, then confronted the deputy with a sharp object and managed to wrestle away the deputy's gun after a two-minute struggle, the newspaper reported.

Valdez said it would not have mattered how many guards were watching Davis because policies were not followed.

The deputy was not injured but is struggling with what happened, she said.

Valdez said the heart of the problem is that prisoners must be taken to Parkland for treatment. There are about 4,200 transports between Lew Sterrett Justice Center and Parkland Hospital per year, she said.

She said a $40 million medical facility being built inside the jail should eliminate future incidents.

"It is incidents like this that confirm our need for a facility within the department," she said. "As you all know, we are working on that, and we are building a facility right here in the department so that we don't have to do the 20 to 25 visits back and forth per day."

Valdez said the incident is under investigation. The deputy is still at work.

Davis apprehended after brief standoff

Dallas police and Dallas County deputies searched the neighborhoods near the hospital for Davis and located him near Harry Hines Boulevard and Reagan Street.

Davis then barricaded himself inside a van in the parking lot of the old Telemundo building. Davis surrendered to police at about 10:45 p.m. after a standoff of a little longer than one hour.

No one was injured, and no shots were fired.

The standoff ended so quickly because police realized that Davis was not armed ,the sheriff's office said.

Authorities had recovered the gun, so officers went in to arrest him. Davis dropped the gun he took from the deputy at the hospital somewhere along Wycliff Avenue while fleeing.

Davis charged in slaying of 16-year-old high school student

He is charged in the September slaying of a 16-year-old Carrollton girl that he was accused of sexually assaulting.

Police said they believe Shania Gray was killed to prevent her from testifying against Davis, who was charged with four counts of sexual assault.

Carrollton police have said that Davis confessed to killing Gray.

According to an affidavit, Davis picked Gray up from school and drove her a trail head near Valley View Lane and Interstate 635, where he killed her. He told investigators that he posed as someone else and won the girl's trust with a fake social media profile and a prepaid phone.

NBC 5's Stefan Gorman, Ray Villeda and Scott Gordon contributed to this report.

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