Deemed a flight risk: Escaped inmate ordered detained

Captured: State police arrest escaped Wyatt inmate »

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The escaped inmate accused of leading state, local and federal authorities on a 5-day manhunt is scheduled made his initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge Friday morning.

James Morales, 35, escaped from the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls on New Year’s Eve. He was ordered held without bail during his hearing.

Officials said Morales would not be returned to the facility he originally escaped from. The Target 12 Investigators have learned that Morales is currently being housed a prison in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

According to an affidavit unsealed Friday, Morales was last seen “going into the recreational yard alone” at 4:26 p.m. on the day he escaped. Then at 6:23 p.m. “Morales was seen on video standing on a basketball hoop in the recreational area.”

The video surveillance then showed Morales was on the roof of the prison at 6:30 p.m., and was then scaling down the side of the building 17 minutes later.

The affidavit reveals a bed count of inmates at 10:30 p.m. claimed “all inmates were accounted for.” But 30 minutes later the same officer who conducted the bed count checked again and “realized that Morales was not in his cell.”

A Massachusetts State Police K-9 tracked Morales scent along train tracks that lead from the prison.

“At this location, prison attire was located,” according to the affidavit.

Morales was captured Thursday in Somerville after allegedly attempting to rob two banks – one in that city, the other in Cambridge.

Captured: State police arrest escaped Wyatt inmate »
Captured: State police arrest escaped Wyatt inmate »

The former Army reservist was being held at Wyatt on charges he stole 16 guns from a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Worcester when he climbed a basketball hoop, cut through a fence and made it through razor wire. It took correctional officers 5 hours to notice.

Three corrections officers and one supervisor have been placed on leave pending an investigation into the escape.