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Published December 04, 2012, 08:44 AM

North Dakota jail inmate sentenced for escape

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Cass County jail inmate has pleaded guilty to escaping while a law officer was escorting him to a court appearance in Fargo.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Cass County jail inmate has pleaded guilty to escaping while a law officer was escorting him to a court appearance in Fargo.

The Forum newspaper reports that 25-year-old Francisco Ayala Jr., of West Fargo, was sentenced to 1 ½ years in prison on the felony escape charge Monday. He also faces federal drug charges.

Authorities say Ayala used a makeshift key fashioned from two wire springs and a broken pencil to undo his handcuffs and leg restraints and flee from a sheriff's deputy on Oct. 12. He was on the run for less than an hour before being apprehended without incident in an apartment, but the incident prompted lockdowns at five area schools.

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