Work Release inmate transferred after brief escape

Fernando Finklea
Fernando Finklea

PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA)-  A work release inmate in Prichard has been transferred back to Holman Prison in Atmore after a brief escape this weekend in a Department of Corrections van.

Normally, inmates are placed in work release when their sentence is almost over.  However, the inmate may  be looking at additional time because of the failed escape.

33 year old Fernando Finklea bought himself a one-way ticket back to Holman State Prison after authorities said he took off in a state owned vehicle.

Finklea had already served 14 and a half years on a 20 year prison sentence for robbery.  As a work release inmate in Prichard he had a pretty easy job as a driver.

Finklea dropped off this inmate around 10:45 Friday  night.  Authorities realized he wasn’t coming back around 1:30 the next morning.  That’s when DOC officers headed to Prichard Police Headquarters.

Chief Jerry Speziale says his officers and DOC worked together to locate the van.

“We knew that there was a location in the area of Hart’s Chicken that  this individual might be frequenting.  As a result of that they canvassed the area they came up with the osage address,” Chief Speziale said.

Officers spotted the huge white van  parked in front of an abandoned house.

“They then went and noticed the home next door that had the door cracked.  The van was running, the vehicle was parked with nobody in it,” the chief said.

When officers went to the house another man came to door.

The man said Finklea came to borrow some money and use his cell phone.  Finklea called for someone to pick him up, but it was police who showed up.

“”I was sitting in here and I opened the door, and when I opened the door they was coming right there like were she is, and they said who driving this van, and I said here he is right here,” the man said.

Corrections officials said Finklea will have a disciplinary hearing on the escape.

He could end up getting additional time for the escape, and wind up serving the rest of his time on the robbery.


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