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February 13, 2013

Prisoner has long rap sheet

NORMAN — Investigation by The Transcript has revealed that an escaped McClain County prisoner captured in Norman on Monday has a long history of felony convictions in Oklahoma and Utah and has pending charges in Logan County, including burglary and larceny. He also may have charges pending in California, according to McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett.

None of the known charges against escapee Taylor Daniel Brotherton were violent crimes.

Hewett said he was aware of charges in other states but did not know about pending charges in Logan County.

“I was told he (Brotherton) had charges or warrants out in California, but they would not expedite,” Hewett said. “It’s not unusual for inmates to come here that have been in and out of jail their entire lives.”

Hewett said Brotherton may not have been aware of the charges or arrest warrant in Logan County. Authorities are still sorting out these and other details of the escape Monday from McClain County custody by Brotherton, 27, and Chase Clemmons, 21.

Brotherton and Clemmons allegedly stole a county-owned pickup and escaped while on work release at the Expo Center in Purcell. Both were jail trusties with low bonds and pending drug charges, Hewett said.

Clemmons was arrested in Norman shortly after the pair crashed the stolen pickup into a stockade fence, but Brotherton eluded law enforcement officers for hours.

Hewett said prisoners with high bonds, violent or sexual assaults or problems in jail don’t qualify for the trusty program. The work program has been a boon for the county in the past until this escape. For now, McClain County has terminated the inmate work release program.

“We may have to correct some of our end of it,” Hewett said. “As of now, we have terminated the work release program. That’s not to say it won’t come back in the future, but right now we have terminated.”

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