Reporting Mike Landa
SANTA ANA (CBS) — Authorities were searching on Thursday for an inmate who escaped from an Orange County jail in what could be a sign of things to come for jails throughout the Southland.
KNX 1070′s Mike Landa reports the prison break marks the first time in 20 years that an inmate has escaped from the Theo Lacy jailhouse.
William Woodin, 39, is the first inmate to break out after being sentenced to a local jail instead of state prison to ease overcrowding, Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said.
“With AB109 and the sentencing guidelines, he was sent back to the Orange County Jail,” said Amormino.
AB109 refers to the legislation by Governor Jerry Brown to reduce California state prison costs by transferring thousands of inmates to local facilities.
Woodin, a convicted thief and drug offender, wiggled through a kitchen window at the jailhouse. He was last seen running down City Drive after ditching his jail clothes.
Woodin was arrested in October on suspicion of stealing a watch from a Nordstrom store.
He was initially expected to go to state prison as a parole violator, but because of overcrowding he stayed in Orange County.