COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The school shooter who briefly escaped from an Ohio prison last week had a pitchfork when he was captured, the state patrol said Monday as newly released records added to the picture of an inmate frequently in trouble behind bars.
T.J. Lane, convicted of killing three students at Chardon High School in the Cleveland area in 2012, did not threaten officers with the pitchfork, and it isn’t known where he got it from, said patrol Lt. Craig Cvetan.
New discipline records released Monday by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction show that Lane argued with instructors in education courses at Allen Correctional Institution, was found with marijuana in his system, gave himself three tattoos in violation of prison rules and worked out in a weight room despite a direct order not to.
“Another day of Mr. Lane refusing to do anything in education,” an official said in a conduct report on Aug. 22, 2013.
Almost two months later, on Oct. 10, Lane was cited for telling an instructor he didn’t need to take his class. In November, he admitted to smoking marijuana and taking the anticonvulsant drug Dilantin, which he hadn’t been prescribed, according to state records. They didn’t say why he took the drug.
Lane also urinated on a wall on prison grounds last month, and on Friday, the morning after the escape and while back in custody, he was found with excess property in his cell, including clothes, 15 books and Pokemon video game cards, according to prison records provided to The Associated Press through an open records request.
Prison officials confiscated the items. The book titles weren’t available, Smith said.
Lane, 19, and two other inmates were transferred later Friday to the state’s high-security prison in Youngstown.
Lane was not disciplined for urinating on the wall after his statement that guards “didn’t come to let us back in to use the restroom and I had to go bad.”
Lane was sentenced to life in prison last year for opening fire in a school cafeteria, killing three students. He unbuttoned his dress shirt at sentencing to reveal a T-shirt with the word “killer” scrawled on it. He wore a similar shirt during the shootings.
Officials say he and two other prisoners scaled a fence during recreation Thursday, sounding an alarm, and then got on a roof over an entryway. One inmate was captured immediately. Lane was captured about five hours later near the prison, and the final inmate was caught about eight hours later.
A state lawmaker briefed on the escape Friday said that Allen prison added extra razor wire to the fence in the area of the escape afterward. State Rep. Matt Huffman, whose Lima district includes the prison, said he learned on a call with state officials the wire was added almost immediately.
Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said additional security measures were put in place, but she declined to provide specifics.
The three escapees were housed in a unit for inmates deemed at risk because of their crimes, testimony they had given or gang threats. A state prisons oversight committee has previously raised concerns about security management at the unit.
Associated Press writers Ann Sanner and Kantele Franko contributed to this report.