Sheriff: Inmate told worker father was dying

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Updated: 8/14/2014 1:58 pm

MERCED, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a county employee in Central California allowed a jail inmate to escape last month after the inmate said he wanted to see his dying father in Mexico.

The Merced Sun-Star reports that 29-year-old Steven Haywood pleaded not guilty this week to a felony count of being an accessory to a crime after the fact.

In a report, sheriff's deputies say Haywood acknowledged agreeing to give the inmate, 31-year-old John Fuentes, a little time before he notified authorities about the escape.

Haywood was working for the Merced County Public Defender's Office and was transporting Fuentes and two other inmates back to jail from a drug treatment program. Fuentes was captured a short time later.

Haywood's attorney did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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