Stillwater prison lockdown was due to escape plan by inmate


Last month's nearly week-long lockdown of Stillwater state prison stemmed from authorities uncovering an escape plan by a violent criminal that involved a suicide attempt.

The Star Tribune reports the details of court records, saying that On July 15, state Department of Corrections officials learned from confidential sources that inmate William R. St. John, 45, was planning to escape with the aid of at least one accomplice within 24 hours, but the scheme was thwarted before it began.

According to search warrant affidavits, the Associated Press reports, authorities searched the inmate's cell and found a suicide note that was part of the escape plan.

The Star Tribune reports phone calls to an accomplice revealed the inmate was planning a suicide attempt by eating razor blades or prescription drugs.

St. John, who is from South Dakota, has a lengthy prison record and has used numerous aliases, records show, according to th Star Tribune. He is serving time in prison for terrorizing two couples in a Bloomington house and was sentenced in federal court for robbing three banks in December 2011 and January 2012 in the days leading up to the home invasion and an earlier carjacking. He wasn’t scheduled to be released until 2025.

Records now show, says the AP, that St. John has been moved to the maximum security prison at Oak Park Heights.

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