BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The Bowie County sheriff says he is working to get the Bi-State jail back into compliance with state regulations after the escape of two inmates in April prompted a special inspection that found security failures.
Two inmates escaped around 1 a.m. on March 21 by breaking through the cinder block exterior wall on the South side second floor. Michael Olson, 30, and Wayde Land, 38, were on the loose more than nine hours before the jail realized they were gone.
Olsen was fatally shot later that afternoon as officers tried to take the pair into custody on the Arkansas side. Land was taken into custody without incident.
Sheriff Jeff Neal says the two correctional officers responsible for checking to see if inmates are in their cells have been fired after they documented that Land and Olson were in their cells when they were actually on the run.
“We also made improvements to the facility that were exposed by this escape and added an extra layer of physical security to those cells and how we go about that and how often we do that,” Sheriff Neal said. “All those plans have been submitted to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards and we’re hopeful that we’ll be back in compliance soon.”
The jail will have to pass another inspection before it can be deemed back in compliance with state regulations.