A "very dangerous" inmate who duped Maryland prison officials into releasing him from three consecutive life sentences has been recaptured in West Virginia, officials said today.
Raymond Taylor, 26, was serving time for three attempted, execution-style murders when he walked out of a state correctional facility in Baltimore Thursday by allegedly impersonating another inmate who was to be released that day.
Authorities have charged that man, William Johnson, with conspiracy. If convicted, Johnson, who should've walked out of prison Thursday, could serve another 10 years, officials said in a statement.
Maryland state prison system spokesman Rick Binetti told ABC News the cellmates did not know each other until Thursday and had no idea what Johnson's motive could have been to give up his chance to go free.
"That's what we're still trying to piece together at this point," Binetti said.
After an overnight manhunt that crossed state borders, Maryland and West Virginia authorities captured Taylor in Martinsburg, W.Va., Binetti said.
Officials have launched an internal investigation into how Taylor managed to get through three layers of security under the wrong name. The two inmates are about the same height, build and complexion.
"So far, the investigation shows that it looks like a number of policies and procedures were not followed," Binetti said. "But nothing nefarious. No collusion by prison guards or anything like that."
Disciplinary action against correctional employees, however, is "most likely imminent," he said.
Taylor had been moved to Baltimore temporarily from a maximum security facility in Cumberland, Md., for a court appearance, state commissioner of corrections J. Michael Stouffer told the Baltimore Sun.
Binetti said investigators tracked Taylor to West Virginia but would not comment on how the connection was made. Taylor's last known address was in New York City, according to court documents.
When officials realized their mistake, the three victims of Taylor's attempted murder were notified and at least one law enforcement officer was dispatched to a victim's home, according to a statement from Maryland's Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
Taylor will be held by the West Virginia State Police until the extradition process is completed, but it is unclear whether he will return to the facility from which he escaped, Binetti said.