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Fox Files: Justice Center Conspiracy

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) -Court records point to a possible criminal conspiracy in the St. Louis Justice Center. As Investigator Chris Hayes reveals, it`s not just the inmates who are part of this possible criminal activity.

A court transcript, just released after the conviction of a former guard, seems to indicate grand escape plans -- possibly orchestrated by Justice Center employees paid to keep us safe.

It involves the dramatic escape from last April. You may remember the video. It was a shot high on the Justice Center, where two inmates broke through a window and climbed down bedsheets.

A judge recently sentenced former detention officer Mori Farrell to probation. He was convicted for lying about making his rounds the night of the escape.

But the bigger story may be what Farrell revealed in Court. It's documented in a Court transcript.

It reads as if Farrell was set up by Justice Center employees and a supervisor. It turns out Farrell was placed in the wing where these inmates escaped -- the night of their escape. It wasn't his normal spot. Meanwhile a supervisor moved the usual guard somewhere else. Now think about that last minute shift change, in the context of how long it took the inmates to dig their way to an escape.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Dan Proost said, "It likely took about a month for these inmates to escape."

Proost said the inmates had to cut through feet of concrete block and rebar.

He added, "Mori Farrell was not working there during the whole time period when this escape likely progressed."
Hayes asked, "So when you take what you just told me along with what we`re learning today, what does that tell us about what`s going on in the Justice Center?"
Proost responded, "I think it tells us there`s reason to be concerned and there`s certainly reason for our office to be interested."

The convicted guard`s attorney, Eric Barnhart, also hints at a larger conspiracy.

Hayes asked, "The record makes it seem as if one other employee and a supervisor had to have to known what was going on."
Barnhart responded, "Mr. Farrell had nothing to do with the escape. Looking at it, it`s quite possible it was an inside job, but i think an investigation needs to be done."

The Circuit Attorney cannot comment on possible ongoing investigations, but as Assistant Prosecutor Proost said earlier -- they`re "interested."

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