Mother Arrested in Probe Authorities Say Prevented Another Escape - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Mother Arrested in Probe Authorities Say Prevented Another Escape

WAURIKA, Okla. (AP) _ The mother of a convicted killer who escaped last month from a Texas jail was arrested for giving him hacksaw blades so he could try to escape again, officials said.

Officers took Cherese Smith into custody late Wednesday in Jefferson County in southern Oklahoma.

The Jefferson County district attorney said the arrest was made following a probe that included several agencies, including the FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

An initial court appearance was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Cherese Smith, also known as Cherese Bagwell, is the mother of Joshua Bagwell, one of four people who escaped the Montague County Jail on Jan. 28 after overpowering a jailer. The four were caught 10 days later in Carter County.

Bagwell and Curtis Gambill, another of the four who escaped, are being held in the Carter County Detention Facility.

Smith visited the jail Wednesday and left. Officers followed her to a store where she bought some hacksaw blades, said Carter County Sheriff Harvey Burkhart. She then returned to the jail, saw her son and Gambill and left.

The men were taken to a hospital to see if they had placed the blades in a body cavity. Officers then found the blades in their cells.

Burkhart said that as part of the escape plot, Smith had obtained two assault rifles, camping equipment and aerial maps.

She was arrested after being pulled over in Waurika, and was booked into the Jefferson County Jail pending charges.

Smith, who was an assistant Lawton city attorney in the late 1990s, was serving as an attorney for both men and had rights to visit them.

Carter County District Attorney Mitch Sperry praised the work of the sheriff and his deputies.

''I really want to brag on them,'' Sperry said. ``They did an unbelievably good job.''

The escape last month of Bagwell, Curtis Gambill, Charles Jordan and Chrystal Soto triggered a massive search along the Oklahoma-Texas border.

Bagwell and Gambill, convicted in the 1996 shotgun killing of a 16-year-old Waurika cheerleader, had been in the Montague County Jail for further proceedings in their case. Jordan and Soto were being held in the November killing of an elderly couple.

All four now remain in the Carter County Jail, where they face charges of burglary and unauthorized use of a vehicle for their alleged theft of automobiles while on the lam.

Bagwell and Gambill also face kidnapping charges for holding a Carter County convenience store owner hostage before they surrendered peacefully.

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