New Mexico police apprehend Lionel Clah, second of two escaped inmates

By Eric DuVall  |  Updated March 12, 2016 at 5:29 PM
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ALBUQUERQUE, March 12 (UPI) -- Authorities in New Mexico apprehended the second of two violent convicts who escaped a prison transport on Wednesday, police said.

Lionel Clah, 29, was apprehended inside a home in Albuquerque, N.M., Saturday afternoon and was taken into custody without incident. Clah was led into police headquarters past a throng of media, where he briefly answered questions.

Asked what he did during his three days on the lam, he said he "had fun."

Clah and his escapee partner, Joseph Cruz, 32, were the subject of an intense manhunt after slipping corrections officers' custody while being transported in a prison van in Artesia, N.M., in the southeastern part of the state on Wednesday. They were being transported from a penitentiary near Santa Fe to a correctional facility in Las Cruces.

From there, the pair made their way to Albuquerque, where they were seen on security cameras in street clothes, absent the wrist and leg shackles they had on in the van.

Cruz was captured Friday after a team of parole and probation officers spotted him walking at a busy intersection in broad daylight and took him into custody. Clah was spotted in a car Friday night, leading police to cordon off several neighborhoods in the area for seven hours while they searched for him.

Cruz also answered questions briefly after being captured. He said he alone picked a lock that enabled the two men to escape and was adamant no one on the outside had helped him since.

Cruz is serving a life sentence after beating and stabbing a man to death in 2006. Clah was arrested after an armed robbery in 2007 and a subsequent shootout with police during which a sergeant was wounded.

U.S. Marshals had put out a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of either man.

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