Haines pleads guilty to escape try

MARTINSBURG – The Harpers Ferry man who tried to tunnel from Eastern Regional Jail in Berkeley County while awaiting sentencing in a bank robbery has pleaded guilty in that botched escape, according to U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office says that Mark Daniel Haines created a hole at the head of his prison bed and then camouflaged his work. He started his digging project in October of 2011 and worked on it for more than two months before it was discovered, the release stated.

At that time, the 42-year-old was awaiting sentencing in the Dec. 22, 2010, heist in which authorities say Haines took more than $7,000 from a BB&T branch in Martinsburg.

For the escape attempt, Haines faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Haines, currently held at the Allegheny County Detention Center in Cumberland, Md., is the man involved in the federal case against Jefferson County Sheriff Bobby Shirley.

Shirley, a Democrat running for re-election in November, has a January trial date after accusations that he severely beat Haines following his 2010 arrest.

Before the federal charges were handed down, Haines filed his own civil rights suit, naming Shirley and 14 other law enforcement officers. He said the officers attacked him after he got out of his vehicle following a chase through Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

For the bank robbery, Haines was sentenced late last year to serve nearly 19 years in prison and three years’ probation. He also has to repay $7,528 to the bank.

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