One STAR justice center inmate still on loose

Published 4:39 pm Monday, June 6, 2022

A day and half after escaping from the STAR Community Justice Center, one inmate is still on the loose, four have been captured and a female accomplice and her ex-husband are in jail.

According to a press release issued by Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman on Monday afternoon, his Emergency Communications Center was contacted by the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace at 8:06 p.m. on Saturday and told that “2-3 male inmates” had escaped, possibly by climbing the fence.

It turned out the number was five and that person who helped the escape was the fiancé of one of the inmates.

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As of 4 p.m. on Monday, the only inmate that is still on the run is Thomas Charles Comberger, 46, of Wilmington, who is described as 6’4” and 245 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

Thoroughman asks the public to call 9-1-1 if Comberger is spotted.

Escapees arrested were Jeffrey Randle Fields, 37, of Cuyahoga Falls, Clifford Tyler Morris, 33, of Sabina, Aaron Brigeman, 43, of Dayton, and Walker N. Pence, 22, of New Holland.

Thoroughman said deputies and Ohio State Patrol Highway troopers responded to the area to begin the search for the escaped inmates.

Deputies contacted a person at the STAR Community Justice Center, who provided the names of the escapees and a description of a female that was near the fence line just prior to the escape.

Upon the initial arrival of deputies, deputies stopped and spoke with a woman asking if she had witnessed anything to do with the escape.

She said no.

However, the woman matched the description given by the employee of STAR Community Justice Center and deputies quickly relocated and detained her.

Thoroughman said the woman, Allie Elizabeth Angelo, came to the STAR Community Justice Center with her ex-husband, Matthew Daniel Sladen, to assist her fiancée, Jeffrey Randle Fields, escape.

Deputies found out that Sladen was at Walmart in Waverly. Deputies contacted Sladen and asked him to remain there. The Waverly Police Department detained Sladen until the arrival of Scioto County deputies. Sladen, 31, of Akron, was arrested for fourth-degree felony aiding escape and third-degree felony possession of criminal tools.

Angelo, 32, of Akron, was arrested and charged with fourth-degree felony aiding escape.

While deputies were speaking with Sladen, Fields was located and arrested by the Deputy Webster on Junior Furnace Road. OSHP officers detained Morris, after also finding him on Junior Furnace Road.

Thoroughman said on Sunday morning, deputies were dispatched to the Norfolk and Southern property off of Hayport Road in reference to two suspicious persons.

Upon the arrival of deputies, they observed the two men walking towards U.S. 52.

The suspects ran from deputies and a request was made to the Portsmouth Police Department for their K-9 unit to track the suspects. The Portsmouth PD responded, as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The K-9 began tracking the suspects and one of the suspects, Brigeman, emerged from the wood line and began walking on the railroad property, where he was detained and arrested by Deputy Tackett-Dye, who asked where the other escapee was. The deputy was told to look at the end of Selby Avenue near a mobile home. Pence was found in the woods next to the mobile home.

Thoroughman has been advised that all of the escapees from the STAR Community Justice Center were low level, non-violent, drug offenders.

The STAR Community Justice Center is a community based correctional facility intended to promote and reduce prison commitments through treatment and education.

Thoroughman states that the investigation of the escape will be done by the OSHP, since it is on state property.

All cases will be presented to a Scioto County Grand Jury on a later date.

The escapees will face charges through their home counties as well.