Suspect Admits to Escape from Annex, James McLendon Sentenced

One of the prisoners who escaped from the jail annex, James Thomas McLendon, pleaded guilty Thursday to the charge that originally landed him in prison, organizing in criminal activity. Before Judge Mark T. Price, McLendon was determined to be competent to stand trial.

A written confession by McLendon was presented to the court, detailing the burglary. After the confession and plea bargain were considered, the Judge sentenced McLendon to 18 months in state jail. He will get credit for time served which is 214 days.

Then the court heard the second charge against McLendon, 3rd degree felony escape. McLendon admitted he was one of the 4 inmates who escaped from the Wichita County Jail Annex.

Before the Judge, a written confession was presented for the escape charge. McLendon pleaded guilty. After the plea, the Judge sentenced McLendon to 5 years in a state penitentiary. McLendon will get credit for time served, which was determined to be 153 days.

After the sentencing, the Judge asked McLendon, "Where did you think you were going to that day?"

McLendon mumbled, "To jail."

The Judge shook his head and said, "Bad choice. You are now sentenced to an additional 5 years."

Once the sentencing was over, McLendon said, "Thank you," and was escorted out of the courtroom by a sheriff's deputy.

Another suspect in the Escape from Annex is due in court Friday. Jimmy Noel Hughes is expected in the 30th District court on a charge of escape while arrested/confined. Hughes is currently serving two 99 year sentences on aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Mary Moloney, Newschannel 6