KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Newly obtained documents about a murder suspect’s escape from the Kalamazoo County jail show just how big of a surprise it was.
Other than a quick comment by Donnovan Lewis moments before his Sept. 19 escape, it doesn’t appear anyone else knew of his plans.
Police reports obtained by 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday through the Freedom of Information Act show that on the morning of Sept. 19, other inmates say Lewis told them, “Man, I’m gonna jump the fence.”
The inmates told investigators after the escape that they thought the comment was a joke.
Police reports show at 10 a.m., Lewis was taken to the jail yard for recreation time with two other inmates. At that time, he was allowed to switch from flip flops to shoes.
Once outside, deputies told him once to back away from the fence. Then at 10:30 a.m., Lewis scaled two 15-foot fences and escaped.
Lewis is an athlete; he played basketball at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Nevertheless, police reports detailed the amazement of deputies and other inmates about how fast Lewis scaled the wire-topped fences, only taking 20 to 30 seconds to get out.
Lewis ran about 1.5 miles before being captured around 11:10 a.m. wearing only underwear and tennis shoes. His jail jumpsuit was found approximately 100 yards away from the last fence.
Lewis declined to be interviewed by investigators after he was arrested. However, his cellmate mentioned in the investigation afterward that about 45 days before the escape, Lewis pointed out a section of the fence and said if he was every going to escape, he would do it right there, because it appeared to have less barbed wire than other areas.
The escape led to another felony charge against Lewis.