Thursday, May 17, 2001

Prison goes on alert after two stabbings

The Associated Press

        EDDYVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky State Penitentiary is under lock-down until prison officials have a suspect in two stabbings early Tuesday, an official said.

        Inmates Lawrence T. Sharp, 47, of Fayette County, and Jerry Hawes, 36, of Jefferson County were treated in the prison infirmary for stab wounds, said Warden Phil Parker. Mr. Sharp had seven wounds to his back and upper chest, and Mr. Hawes suffered two wounds to his back and one to his neck.

        Mr. Parker said the first stabbing was at about 7:30 a.m. CDT on the prison yard in front of the laundry, and the second was a few minutes later in the dining room.

        Investigators had not determined a motive. Mr. Parker said the only known connection between Mr. Sharp and Mr. Hawes is that both were serving long terms on unrelated sexual abuse convictions.

        A homemade knife was found in a trash can not far from the site of the attacks. “It was wiped off but it appears to have some traces of blood ... and fingerprints,” Mr. Parker said.

        Tests were being conducted to determine whether it was used in the stabbings.

        “We are going to stay on lock-down until we have someone in custody,” Mr. Parker said.

        It was the prison's first stabbing and inmate lock-down since June 28, 1999, when an inmate was injured after being stabbed three times as he stood in front of the prison hospital. That lockdown lasted about four hours. There are 820 inmates at the prison.


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