Update: Escapee’s accomplice arrested

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 16, 2008

WINDSOR – A woman sought in connection with the escape of a prisoner from Bertie-Martin Regional Jail is behind bars.

Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Saturday afternoon he had arrested Laketa Lavone Gordon, 21, and charged her with felony aiding and abetting escape from confinement.

She is in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail under a $100,000 cash bond and will make her first appearance in Bertie County District Court Wednesday.

The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office drew warrants for Gordon’s arrest after identifying her on a video at the Duck Thru convenience store where she allegedly helped Danyashi Wood flee moments after he escaped from the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail on July 30.

Det. Pittman said Gordon turned herself in to him at approximately 3:15 p.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, Danyashi Wood may be on the lamb now, but if Bertie County law enforcement officials have their way, it won’t last long.

“We take this very seriously and we’re doing everything we believe can be done to capture the Danyashi Wood,” Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins said. “We would appreciate any help the citizens of the county and the region can provide us.”

The escapee is described as a black male with light to medium complexion and a pony tail, standing 5’-9” tall and weighing approximately 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Wood escaped from the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail on July 30, just one day after being sentenced to 93-121 months in prison following convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a government officer, resist, delay and obstruct, being a habitual felon and driving while license revoked.

In cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Det. Pittman said federal warrants were drawn for the arrest of Wood. He is being sought on a federal felony charge of unlawful flight to avoid confinement.

Wood was already being sought on local warrants including escape from confinement, felony larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle. The latter charges came due to Wood’s alleged theft of a Bertie County Schools maintenance truck in the moments after his escape.

That truck was driven to the Duck Thru at the end of County Farm Road and ditched there.

Wood escaped from the Bertie Martin Regional Jail after what Jail Administrator Craig Friedman called a deliberate effort on the part of other inmates.

According to footage viewed by Friedman, he said 30 inmates were in the outdoor recreation area with two guards. The officers had instructed the inmates to return to the jail when Friedman said other inmates questioned one of the guards and distracted him while Wood escaped.

“It was apparent to me watching this whole thing that they were acting in concert with Mr. Wood to keep the young trainee officer occupied while Mr. Wood was making his escape,” Friedman said. “I believe it was deliberate.”

Local officials are seeking information from the public.

“We certainly are seeking the help of anyone who has information as to the whereabouts of either suspect,” Pittman said. “Anyone wishing to provide information should contact the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office.”

The number for the BCSO is 794-5330.