Prison officials dismissed after inmate escape

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Authorities say one prison official has been fired and another has resigned in lieu of termination in the

wake of a convicted killer escaping last month from the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel.

Angela Whittaker, assistant to the secretary of the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections, told The Advocate officials determined that a "supervision issue" contributed to the Jan. 1 escape of Keana Barnes,


Barnes had been serving a 25-year manslaughter sentence for killing two men.

"The policies are good and sound, but what

we found was that the officers that we let go were not making

appropriate rounds,"

Whittaker said. Had the policies been followed appropriately,

Whittaker added, "they would have prevented this from happening."

Whittaker was not authorized Monday to release the names of the officers held responsible, but said one was a sergeant and

the other a cadet.

New details also have emerged about how Barnes escaped.

Barnes, who shaved her head in the days

before her escape, broke a window in her dorm room, climbed out and

scaled a perimeter

gate, Whittaker said. Corrections officials have said Barnes

sustained a "fairly deep" cut to one of her fingers during her


"We suspect that she used a combination lock

to break the window," Whittaker said. "Offenders have access to two


locks that they keep on their lockers. We suspect that she put

those two locks in some kind of sock and slung it at the window."

Federal and state authorities say they are

still working various leads trying to locate Barnes, including some that

have placed

her in the New Orleans area. Barnes has family there, authorities

have said, and she apparently has been getting assistance

to evade arrest.