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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Inmate pleads guilty to escape

  • A prison inmate has pleaded guilty to escaping earlier this year from the Lansing Correctional Facility.
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  • A prison inmate has pleaded guilty to escaping earlier this year from the Lansing Correctional Facility.
    Randy A. Ridens Sr., 57, escaped from LCF May 10 but was taken into custody later that day as he entered Topeka, prison officials said at the time.
    Ridens pleaded guilty Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court to one count of aggravated escape from custody. His plea came a day before his case was scheduled to go to trial.
    Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 20. Defense attorney Benjamin Casad said in court that the prosecution has agreed to not recommend more than what will be considered the mitigated sentence under state guidelines. This will be 122 months, or more than 10 years.
    But the defense can file a motion seeking a lighter sentence.
    "We would still be able to keep our options open during sentencing," Casad said.
    Ridens currently is serving a prison sentence for burglary and theft convictions in Shawnee and Douglas counties. A website for the Kansas Department of Corrections indicates his earliest possible release date is December 2014. But this does not take into account a new sentence for the escape.
    District Judge Gunnar Sundby said Wednesday the law will require the sentence for the escape to run consecutive to the one Ridens already is serving.
    The KDOC website indicates Ridens has an extensive criminal history dating back to the 1970s. He's had multiple convictions for theft, burglary and criminal damage to property in Leavenworth, Montgomery, Wyandotte, Johnson and Miami counties. He also has previous convictions in Wyandotte County for attempted criminal sodomy and attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
    Two other inmates, Allen Hurst and Scott Gilbert, also are alleged to have escaped LCF May 10. They were apprehended in Missouri where they're facing multiple charges for allegedly firing shots at law enforcement officers and attempting to kidnap another man, according to prosecution officials in Platte County, Mo.
    These two inmates also have cases pending in Leavenworth County related to the alleged escape, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

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