Prison escapee recaptured

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The minimum security unit at Pasquotank Correctional Institution is seen from the northbound shoulder of U.S. Highway 17 Bypass, Friday. An inmate escaped from the prison Friday but was recaptured two hours later.

Devonta Respers

From staff reports

Friday, June 8, 2018

An inmate who escaped from Pasquotank Correctional Institution’s minimum custody unit earlier today is back in custody. 

Devonta Respers, 25, was recaptured within two hours of prison officials reporting him missing from the minimum custody facility. The minimum custody facility is a separate building from the main prison building for close-custody inmates.

“Prison security staff, using dogs, captured Respers off U.S. Highway 17 in Elizabeth City near the facility,” reported Jerry Higgins, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Higgins reported Respers escaped at 10 a.m. Friday, and was captured at 11:52 a.m. Higgins did not provide details on how Respers escaped, but said there will be an investigation and Respers will face charges for his escape.

Christy Saunders, coordinator of Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Management, added in a separate press release that Respers was recaptured in an area north of the prison.

Formerly a Pitt County resident, Respers is serving a sentence for assault with a deadly weapon on government officers/employees and was incarcerated at PCI on Jan. 25, 2017. He was scheduled for release in April 2020.

Since 2006, there have been five escapes at PCI’s minimum custody unit where inmates left their work assignments and two where inmates escaped from the prison facility, according to Higgins. 

Three public schools near the prison were placed on high alert following the inmate’s escape but never placed on lockdown, according to a school spokeswoman. The schools were not locked down based on the advice of Emergency Management officials, the spokeswoman said.