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WJBD - Local News - Charges for Man Who Tried to Saw His Way Out of Marion County Jail

Charges for Man Who Tried to Saw His Way Out of Marion County Jail

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

A 51-year-old Salem man faces additional charges of attempted escape and criminal damage to government supported property after allegedly trying to cut his way out of the Marion County Jail.  

Bond for Gregory Houston was set at $25,000 on Monday during his first appearance in court on the new charges.  The bond is on top of his current $100,000 bond on a Class X methamphetamine manufacturing charge.   

Houston is accused of starting to saw through one of the window bars in his cell with a piece of metal that he had broken off the sprinkler head.  Corrections officers found the homemade saw and discovered the damage after receiving information from another inmate.  

Marion County Sheriff Jerry DeVore says Houston had cut about a quarter of an inch into the bar.  However, the sheriff notes even if Houston had been successful, the window was too small to get out.  

Houston had pleaded guilty to the drug charges pending against him to get into drug court.  He then disappeared, but was later taken into custody in Oklahoma and returned to Marion County.  

Marion County State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach says a petition is pending to remove Houston from drug court.  The court has already denied a motion to allow Houston to withdraw his guilty plea.  Any sentence Houston receives on the meth and escape charges will have to be served consecutively.  

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