Two convicted murderers on the lam after fleeing medium-security prison

Saturday, March 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STRINGTOWN, Oklahoma (AP) _ State and local officers and tracking dogs searched southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday for two convicted murderers who escaped from prison and who may have obtained two rifles.

William B. Davis and Douglas E. Gray, both serving life terms, fled the medium-security Mack Alford Correctional Center on Friday by hiding in a mail cart being hauled by pickup truck to the post office in Stringtown, a corrections department spokesman said.

The two men, one armed with a knife, overpowered the driver, said Jerry Massie, spokesman for the Department of Corrections. The driver was not injured.

The escaped convicts later ditched the pickup, then stole two other vehicles and abandoned them. Two rifles were missing from one of the vehicles, Massie said.

Corrections officers, sheriff's deputies and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol focused their search Saturday on an area east of Stringtown, where dogs had tracked the pair.

Davis, 46, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1974. Records show he stabbed a man 80 times with a 10-inch (25-centimeter) hunting knife during a robbery.

Gray, 35, was convicted of first-degree murder in 1988 for beating and shooting a teacher.

The Mack Alford Correctional Center at Stringtown is 100 miles (160 kms) southeast of Oklahoma City.

It was Oklahoma's second prison escape this year. Three inmates fled the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in January by removing toilets from their cells and crawling into a maintenance area. One was captured after getting tangled in prison razor wire and the other two were captured three days later.