Jun 25, 2011 12:12 AM by Chris Welty

Escaped Inmate Timeline

An inmate who escaped in Lafayette Parish is back behind bars, but not before taking police on a high-speed chase.

25-year old Matthew Keyes had just been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for home invasion.

For nearly 15 hours Matthew Keyes was a free man. Keyes removed his shackles and opened the door of a St. Landry Parish Sheriff's transport unit Thursday afternoon at the intersection of HWY 90 and Mudd Avenue in Lafayette.

"It was one of the newer transport units and I don't think the locks were removed yet, but we are in the process of doing that with all of them to make sure they don't have access to the doors," said Chief Deputy Hilman Popillion of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office.

After his escape, Keyes headed north. Hours later, St. Landry Parish Officials got word of a stolen SUV.

"The vehicle fled at a rapid speed in excess of 100 miles per hour on highway 13," said Jimmy Darbonne with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office.

The high speed chase continued into Turkey Creek where police forced him to stop the vehicle. When asked why he stole the car, he said he didn't .

"I don't know where they got that from. I ain't never broken anything in my life."

This isn't the first time Matthew Keys has attempted to escape the bars of the St. Landry Parish Jail. In court records KATC obtained, just four years ago in 2007 Keyes was charged with attempted escape twice from the St. Landry Parish Jail.

"If indeed this happened, we need to be more vigilant. I don't know what the court records show and I haven't reviewed them, but if that was the case, we should have been a little more cautious with him," said Popillion.

Matthew Keyes was transported to the Lafayette Parish Jail Friday night and since his escape, his security detail has doubled to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Chris Welty



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