Inmate escapes while on day pass from Drumheller Institution
Published Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:56PM MDT
For the second time in seven months, an inmate at the Drumheller Institution overpowered a guard while being escorted back to the central Alberta facility.
RCMP said 32-year-old Donald Junior Fowler was out on a day pass and on his way back to the correctional facility after visiting family in Buck Lake, when he pretended to be sick.
Fowler reportedly overpowered the lone guard escorting him, choking her with his hands and a seatbelt, before tying her up in the backseat and driving away.
He dropped the guard off at a rural intersection, on Highway 587 and Range Road 252, and kept driving.
The incident reflects another that occurred only months ago, when convicted murderer William Bicknell overpowered a guard while on a day pass.
Though it took several days to track Bicknell down, he was found and arrested again nine days after his escape; it took RCMP mere hours to find Fowler.
RCMP officers tracked him down in Olds, where he was arrested without incident.
Officials at the Drumheller Institution said a risk assessment was done to determine whether it would be appropriate for Fowler to have a day pass.
"It is a case by case basis," Dawn Bancroft with the Drumheller Institution said. "It is determined by the security level of the offender."
Fowler is serving a second degree murder sentence, for the killing of 9-year-old Sean Pye in 1995.
"Donald Fowler was serving an indeterminate sentence," Bancroft said. "Which means the decision to grant the temporary absence was made by the parole board, not the [Correctional Service of Canada]."
Fowler has been charged with escaping lawful custody, assaulting a peace officer, kidnapping, forcible confinement, theft of a motor vehicle and dangerous driving.
He will appear in Drumheller Provincial Court on Friday.
With files from Sonia Sunger