Police still searching for final SEPTA escapee

Troy Brandon Tyler Byrd, age 29

NEWARK, OH (WCMH) — The second of three offenders has been caught after escaping through razor wire from the SEPTA Correctional Facility in Nelsonville.

Justin Delano Stanley was arrested by Newark Police on Monday afternoon. Stanley, 25, was transported to Licking Memorial Hospital for an unknown reason.

Stanley went missing from the facility on March 31st at approximately 9:40pm, along with David G. Skeens. An additional offender, Troy Brandon Tyler Byrd, escaped on April 1st at approximately 7:35pm.

Skeens was arrested by Heath police Sunday morning. Police said he was hiding at Starlight Hotel, at 1342 Hebron Road in Heath, with a woman. He cooperated and was arrested without incident.

Byrd, age 29, was sentenced to SEPTA Correctional Facility from Champaign County on charges of Possession of Heroin. Byrd was last seen wearing a blue hoodie, with blue jeans. He has a tattoo on his neck.

SEPTA administrators were not able to go on-camera with NBC4, but did answer questions inside their office. They are a community-based correctional facility (CBCF), which is designed to divert offenders from going to prison.

Administrators said it’s common for one or two of their residents to “walk-off” while they’re outside of the facility for work, but it’s not normal for them to escape through the secure perimeter. They’ve asked the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) to conduct a “vulnerability assessment,” which they said will help them improve their weak spots by looking at their secure perimeter fencing, cameras and staffing levels.

SEPTA said currently, additional staffing levels have been implemented to deter future incidents.

Debbie Kaslar has lived across the street from the SEPTA facility since before it was built.

“I don’t understand why they would want to leave there. I really, truly don’t,” she said.

Hearing about escaped offenders doesn’t bother her, but knowing they’re missing out on an opportunity to change their lives around, does.

“My brother was even over there. They did a lot of good on my brother and helped him out,” said Kaslar. “He really got on his feet good and I don’t understand why they’d want to escape over there. I really don’t.”

SEPTA administrators said their residents are male adults, typically with drug or property offenses. The longest they can stay in the program is 180 days.

“I wish they’d stay there and get their lives straight,” said Kaslar. “I’ve seen it done and they could do it too.”

In February, another two men also escaped, Zachariah Spires, 24 and Leonard Lowery, 32.

If you have any further questions or information that could lead to an arrest, please contact the City of Nelsonville Police Department at 740-753-1922 or SEPTA Correctional Facility at 740-753-5000.


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