Wife charged with helping man escape from prison

First Posted: 1/15/2009

LUMBERTON - A Maxton woman has been charged with helping her husband escape from the Robeson Correctional Center so they could be together on her birthday. Their mistake was apparently planning the escape in a conversation that involved a prison phone - a conversation that was recorded.
Raymond “Rambo” Locklear, 22, is in solitary confinement at the Robeson Correctional Center on N.C. 711 following an escape from the minimum security prison on May 11. He was caught and returned to prison the next day.
Juanita Locklear, 28, of 56 Fairfield Drive, was charged Monday with misdemeanor aiding and abetting an escapee for allegedly driving the getaway car during her husband's escape. She is free after posting a $2,000 bond.
“He just wanted to escape to spend four hours with his wife for her birthday,” said sheriff's Detective Mark McMillian. “He planned to be back at the prison before the next head count.”
Despite the recorded telephone conversation, Locklear has denied helping her husband escape.
“I didn't do any of that, I didn't pick him up,” Locklear said. “I didn't even know he was getting out that day. He was probably laying up with some other dumb girl. I was at the beach at the Harley rally.
“He escaped prison but he didn't even come see me or his babies. He wants me now that he's locked up but he didn't have time for us when he was out.”
Prison Superintendent Sandy Thomas said Raymond Locklear told prison officials that he squeezed through an opening between the fence and the back gate of the prison.
“There is no way he could have squeezed through the fence and the gate, there just isn't enough space,” Thomas said. “We feel he went over the fence … the razor wire at the top of the fence was pushed down.”
The fence is about 8 feet tall, Thomas said.
McMillian said Juanita Locklear was waiting for her husband in the parking and drove him to her Maxton home. Locklear escaped shortly after the 3 p.m. head count and planned to be back before the next head count at 7 p.m., McMillian said. But McMillian said a surprise head count was made at 5 p.m. and an inmate called Locklear at his wife's home and told him about the surprise head count. After being told of the surprise head count, Locklear decided against returning to the prison, McMillan said.
Locklear was caught on May 12 at his father's home in Rowland. That happened after R.L. Locklear called prison officials and told them his son was there.
Locklear, who was convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, has been serving a three-year sentence since September. Locklear will be transferred to a medium security prison. The escape could lengthen his time in prison, Thomas said.
Thomas says she has seen some inmates jump the fence, but those inmates were quickly caught. Locklear is the second inmate to escape the prison during the last month. Both were caught the next day.
Bobby Fowler, of Fayetteville, escaped on May 27, 2003, by climbing over the fence and remains at large.
“The minimum custody units are old facilities and have been like this for years,” Thomas said. “There are no plans at this point for any changes to the prison.”
The prison houses about 300 inmates.

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