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Prison cell bars

Man to return to Louisiana prison after escape 15 years ago

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CLINTON, La. (AP) — It's been 15 years since inmate Lonnie Payne called Louisiana's East Feliciana Parish Prison his home, but a sheriff's official says that's about to change.

Criminal Deputy Greg Phares said late Friday that Payne escaped the prison in Clinton in 2003 while serving time for burglary. He says the now-44-year-old was arrested in Mexico and is now jailed in Conroe, Texas, awaiting a return to the Louisiana prison — possibly by Monday.

The Advocate reports Payne was serving 12 years for a burglary in Jefferson Parish when he escaped after trimming grass between two security fences. Authorities said at the time that Payne apparently went through a gate he had left unlocked, climbed an 8-foot outer fence and fled.

It's unclear how investigators tracked him down.

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