Butler Co. catches several inmates trying to escape

(HAMILTON, OH) -- Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones says a confidential "Hot Tip" led officers to thwart an imminent attempt of escape from inside the Butler County Jail involving several felony inmates.

On Monday around 3 p.m., Deputies and Corrections Officers searched a cell in a Maximum Security jail block where they discovered the mortar between several concrete wall blocks had been scraped.  Although slight damage was done to the wall, the security of the facility was not compromised.  Additional searches within the cell block and of the prisoners involved uncovered crudely-made tools used to scrape the mortar, and believed to be used later as weapons for taking hostages during the escape.  The investigation continued into the late evening hours.

James Beddinghaus, Jr., age 34, Harvey "Shawn" Johnson Jr., age 33, Terrence "Alabama" Candidate, age 23, and Michael Douglas, age 18, are possibly now facing additional felony charges for their involvement in the escape plan.

Investigators are currently consulting with Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper's Office on any additional charges.

Beddinghaus is awaiting trial for bank robbery in Hamilton, as well as an Escape, Aggravated Burglary and Kidnapping charges from when he escaped earlier this year.

Johnson was tried and convicted of the murder of his Liberty Township girlfriend and mother of two, Kiva Gazaway, last month through Butler County Common Pleas Court and additionally convicted of Escape and Aggravated Robbery for attempting to disarm a Fairfield Officer in Fairfield Municipal Court in 2007.

Candidate is in jail for pending charges of Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Burglary, Kidnapping, Felonious Assault, Theft, and Receiving Stolen Property through both West Chester Police and Hamilton Police Departments.

Douglas recently plead guilty to a Murder that happened in West Chester.