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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html



MARCH 14, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


LEBANON MAN SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTED JAIL ESCAPE


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lebanon, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for attempting to escape from the St. Clair County Jail while he was being held in federal custody.


             Robert Joseph Harper, Jr., 29, of Lebanon, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner this afternoon to three years and one month in federal prison without parole, to be served consecutively to his incarceration of 29 years and two months to which Harper was sentenced on Dec. 5, 2005.


             On Nov. 20, 2006, Harper pleaded guilty to attempting to escape from federal custody. Harper was being held in the St. Clair jail in November 2005 while awaiting sentencing following his conviction by a jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possessing stolen firearms. During that time, Harper and his cell mate made plans to escape from the jail. They used a hacksaw that had been smuggled into the jail to cut the bars off the window of their cell. On Nov. 25, 2005, Harper and his cell mate set on fire pieces of cloth soaked in baby oil in an attempt to burn through the plexiglass covering the window of their cell. The escape plot was discovered before they were able to burn all the way through the plexiglass.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the St. Clair, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html