LMDC: Convicted killer planned to escape jail through hole in cell

LMDC: Convicted killer planned to escape jail through hole in cell
John McLeaney (Source: LMDC)
John McLeaney (Source: LMDC)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An inmate at Louisville Metro Corrections, who is charged with kidnapping a woman last year and was previously convicted of manslaughter, planned to escape the jail through a hole in his cell, a correctional officer says.

An officer at the jail discovered a hole in the wall of John C. McLeaney's cell on Monday, according to court documents. The officer also reported finding an Allen wrench and a shank. McLeaney, 46, admitted that he planned to escape through the hole, the officer said.

McLeaney was arrested in November 2015 after a standoff with police in the Pleasure Ridge Park area. He was accused of pretending to be a police officer and kidnapping a woman. Police say he forced the woman to help him rob a Jeffersontown electronics store where she worked.Then he sexually assaulted the woman and drove her back to his house in PRP, police said.

McLeaney barricaded himself inside the garage with the woman for five hours before being arrested, police said.

Online records show he was previously convicted of manslaughter in Nebraska in 1997. Originally he was charged with murder in connection with the death of a teenage girl 10 years prior, when McLeaney also would have been 17 years old.

The World-Herald in Omaha reported that McLeaney maintained he did not strangle the girl. He said another man, reportedly the former president of the Hell's Angels in Omaha, killed the girl after she was raped by multiple people. McLeaney was released from prison in 2010.

Rick Sanders, who was chief of the Jeffersontown police at the time of McLeaney's 2015 arrest, called him a "vicious person" and expressed hope that McLeaney would not get out of jail again.

In additional to previous charges including kidnapping and sexual assault, McLeaney is now charged with attempting to escape from a penitentiary and promoting contraband.

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