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Published: Thursday, 10/11/2001

5 plead guilty to roles in escape of prisoner in Adrian

ADRIAN - Five of the six defendants charged in the July 6 escape of an inmate from the Lenawee County jail pleaded guilty yesterday for their roles. They will be sentenced next month.

Jonathon Smith, who was taken into custody July 16 after 10 days on the run, will be sentenced Nov. 9 in Lenawee County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to escape from prison. Charges of escape from prison and being a habitual offender will be dismissed at sentencing.

Smith's girlfriend, Kristin Butler, 26, was charged with being an accessory and is accused of hiding Smith at her Morenci home. She will stand trial Tuesday before Circuit Judge Timothy Pickard.

Smith escaped from the jail's outdoor recreation area by climbing over a human ladder formed by four other inmates. Shawn Leon, 18; Shane Rodgers, 17; James Rodriguez, 21, and Corey Sawyer, 21, each pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of taking contraband into a prison.

The four stood mute to charges of general conspiracy and aiding a prisoner escape, which will be dismissed at their November sentencing.

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