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Inmate reported as escaping did not flee prison

This undated photo released by the Alabama Department of Corrections show Steve Ray Murphy, who the agency says escaped from the St. Clair Correctional Facility on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The department said Murphy was serving a life sentence for murder, and records show he escaped the same prison less that 20 years ago. (Alabama Department of Corrections via AP)
March 10, 2020 - 10:02 AM

SPRINGVILLE, Ala. - A convicted murderer did not escape from an Alabama prison despite the corrections system initially reporting that he did, state officials said Tuesday.

The Alabama Department of Corrections said the inmate reported as escaping in fact never left the prison. An escape notice was sent out as a precautionary matter when the inmate was not at his assigned location at St. Clair Correctional Facility. The prison system said an escape notice was sent out while a facility sweep was simultaneously being conducted to locate the inmate, Steve Ray Murphy, 64.

The prison system said Murphy “had no intention, nor took any action, to attempt an escape."

“The facility remains secure and all inmate are accounted for,” the prison system said in a news release.

The prison system says Murphy was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1984 for a murder conviction in Colbert County. He also has convictions for robbery, theft and burglary. Court records show Murphy was indicted on a charge of escaping from the same prison in 2001. He was convicted of escape later that year.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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