INSIDE JOB! TWO STAFFERS ARRESTED!
WHY DOES VIRGINIA ALLOW HARDENED ADULT CRIMINALS LIKE THIS PAIR OF FELONS TO BE INCARCERATED AT A JUVENILE FACILITY?
U.S. Marshals Capture Virginia Prison Escapees in Michigan
Richmond, VA – Two violent felons who escaped from the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center in Chesterfield County, Virginia, are back behind bars. The Grand Rapids Fugitive Task Force apprehended both escapees July 25, 2020, without incident at a hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan.
During the July 13 escape, a correctional officer was assaulted, and Rashad E. Williams and Jabar Ali Taylor fled through a hole that was cut in a perimeter fence, with a getaway vehicle staged outside of the detention center.
Taylor, 20, was serving a sentence for convictions of two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated malicious assault. Williams, 18, was previously convicted of malicious wounding and robbery.
Anthony Carter, 28, of Albany, Ga., and Mac Hughes, 30, of Portsmouth, were stabbed to death June 15 outside the Cook Out in Greenbrier Shopping Center. Jabar Ali Taylor, 16, in December 2015, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder.
Since the escape, U.S. Marshals pursued numerous leads in several states, showing that the pair was traveling together and had initially fled to Pennsylvania. The nearly two-week fugitive investigation came to an end earlier this evening, 700 miles away from the scene of the escape.
Around 5:00 p.m., the U.S. Marshals-led Grand Rapids Fugitive Task Force arrested the pair in the 5700 block of Beckley Road in Battle Creek, Michigan. Assisting with this evening’s arrest were the following agencies: Michigan State Police, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids Police Departments, and the Michigan Department of Corrections.
The FBI also provided significant assistance throughout the fugitive investigation.
“This complex investigation and arrest is yet another example of the tenacity and the “never give up” attitude displayed by Deputy U.S. Marshals and our state and local law enforcement partners all over this great country. Hours of dedicated investigative work by our law enforcement team ensured the safety of the public by getting these very dangerous escapees back into custody quickly and safely. I hope the efforts of these law enforcement professionals will in some way allow our citizens in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and elsewhere, to rest more comfortably tonight,” said Nick E. Proffitt, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“This evening’s apprehension of the escapees from the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center is a result of the extensive investigative efforts and fortitude demonstrated by state and federal law enforcement,” said Captain Richard Boyd, commander of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Richmond Field Office. “The U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force members, which include Virginia State Police personnel, are to be commended for their exceptional and exhaustive work on this case.”
Both Williams and Taylor will be held at the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Michigan.
- On February 23, 2016, Jabar TAYLOR was convicted in Fredericksburg Circuit Court of two counts Second Degree Murder; 18.2-32 of the Code of Virginia, Aggravated Malicious Wounding; 18.2-51.2(A) of the Code of Virginia, and Criminal Solicitation; 18.2-32 of the Code of Virginia. TAYLOR was sentenced to thirty years’ incarceration with ten years suspended on Second Degree Murder, ten years with two years suspended on Aggravated Malicious Wounding, and two years incarceration on Criminal Solicitation. All sentences imposed to run consecutive. TAYLOR was charged as a juvenile; however, received a blended sentence. TAYLOR was serving his term of incarceration at the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center and was scheduled to transfer to the Virginia Department Corrections in August 2020, for housing and classification as an adult offender. A Virginia Department of Corrections detainer was on file with Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center.
- On April 12, 2019, Rashad WILLIAMS was convicted in Fredericksburg Circuit Court with Unlawful Wounding, 18.2-51 of the Code of Virginia; and Robbery: Street with Use of Gun or Simulated Gun, 18.2-58 of the Code of Virginia. On Case 3:20-mj-00096-RCY Document 1 Filed 07/17/20 ID# 2 April 13, 2019, WILLIAMS was charged in Stafford Circuit Court with Use of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony, 18.2-53.1 of the Code of Virginia. WILLIAMS was sentenced to five years with two years suspended on the Unlawful Wounding, twenty years’ incarceration with thirteen years suspended on the Robbery charge, and three years on the Firearm charge, all to run consecutively. WILLIAMS was also charged as a juvenile and pending transfer to the Virginia Department of Corrections for housing and classification as an adult offender. A Virginia Department of Corrections detainer was on file with Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center.
- In the early morning hours of July 13, 2020, TAYLOR and WILLIAMS used a cord to choke and assault a Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center officer, causing a brief period of unconsciousness. TAYLOR and WILLIAMS removed the officer’s keys and escaped through a precut hole in the perimeter security fencing. A vehicle was staged, waiting for their arrival.
- Investigation revealed WILLIAMS and TAYLOR received assistance from two Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center employees in the preplanning phase and escape attempt. In addition, WILLIAMS and TAYLOR were picked up by WILLIAMS’ brother, Gerald THORTON, waiting in a gold Nissan Rogue, with Pennsylvania Registration. THORTON admitted to E/PA Deputy U.S. Marshals that he traveled to Virginia to pick up WILLIAMS and TAYLOR and brought them back to Pennsylvania. THORTON stated both were wearing tan prison pants. THORTON further allowed WILLIAMS to use his cellphone, gave him one thousand dollars cash, then dropped them off at the LA Fitness Center, in Philadelphia, PA. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.
“This is the first escape we’ve had at Bon Air in over 20 years,” said DJJ Director Valerie Boykin. “DJJ takes very seriously our role in promoting public safety, and are therefore releasing the names and photos of these young adults to aid in their apprehension, as allowed by the Virginia Code [16.1-309.1]. We are very concerned about how this happened and will fully investigate the circumstances and ensure that appropriate action is taken. We strive to provide for a safe, secure and therapeutic environment for the youth committed to our care. We ask that anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of these individuals contact local authorities or the Virginia State Police.”
Valerie Boykin was appointed Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice by Gov. Ralph Northam in April, 2019. She most recently served as Deputy Director of Community Programs for DJJ, a position she held since May, 2015.
In my last Director’s Message, I reported that two residents of Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center had escaped the facility in the early morning hours of Monday, July 13.
INSIDE JOB! Two Bon Air employees were subsequently arrested for their alleged involvement in the escape.
In addition, two Bon Air employees were subsequently arrested for their alleged involvement in the escape. I am pleased to report that the escapees were captured July 25 and returned to justice.
First and foremost, we wish to thank the Virginia State Police, the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, the Michigan Law Enforcement agencies and all who were involved in the safe apprehension of the two individuals who escaped. We also continue to cooperate fully with the Virginia State Police in their ongoing investigation in connection with this incident. All of the dedicated professionals committed to the rehabilitation of the youth in our care at Bon Air join me in hoping that investigators will get to the bottom of this incident so that appropriate action may be taken, and all those involved will be held accountable.
WHO IS RUNNING VIRGINIA’S PRISONS?
“Bon Air is an old campus, and this incident highlights the need for a more modern state-of-the-art treatment and secure facility.” – Valerie Boykin
“The two individuals charged with acts that compromised the well-being of other employees as well as the public at large are not representative of the Bon Air team, and are no longer employed by the agency.“
I have ordered a complete security analysis of the Bon Air campus in the wake of the escapes. Our DJJ investigators and Residential Services management team are conducting internal reviews, and I am bringing in an external team to conduct an independent analysis to augment our findings. We are committed to determine if more immediate security enhancements are needed at Bon Air.
Bon Air is an old campus, and this incident highlights the need for a more modern state-of-the-art treatment and secure facility. Prior to this incident, we had not had an escape in over 20 years. It is extremely important to us to continue to be a good neighbor to the Bon Air community as we fulfill our role in public safety.