Man Involved in 1987 Prison Escape Dies
WAGNER, S.D. (AP) — A man who took part in the largest prison escape in South Dakota history died over the weekend in a one-vehicle rollover crash near Wagner.
The Argus Leader newspaper reports 57-year-old James Weddell was one of six inmates who escaped from the State Penitentiary in May 1987 by crawling through a vent in a recreation building.
All but Weddell were recaptured within two months. It took authorities two years to apprehend him.
Weddell was serving an 80-year sentence on a manslaughter conviction. In 2003, a judge ruled he hadn’t received a fair trial. In a deal with prosecutors, Weddell pleaded guilty to assault and was released on probation.