One Escaped SEPTA Inmate Apprehended, Other Still At-Large

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PARKERSBURG — One of two inmates who escaped under a fence at the Southeastern Probation Treatment Alternative Correctional Facility (SEPTA) Sunday night has been apprehended, according to officials.

Leonard Lowery
Zachariah Spires

Leonard Lowery, 32, was taken into custody by Parkersburg police at about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to a press release from the Nelsonville facility.

Lowery and Zachariah Spires, 24, escaped from SEPTA after a 6:30 p.m. count at the minimum security facility.

Spires is still at-large, but was last seen in the Parkersburg area.

The two men escaped from a recreation area shortly after a 6:30 p.m. security count, SEPTA program director Scott Weaver told WOUB on Monday. When the next count happened at 8:30 p.m., “staff miscounted,” Weaver said.

At another count an hour later, SEPTA personnel discovered the two were missing.

Immediately after finding out the Spires and Lowery were missing, staff contacted the Nelsonville Police Department and 911 to send a “be on the look out” or BOLO to all regional law enforcement agencies.

Zachariah Spires
Leonard Lowery

Spires was convicted in Athens County of receiving stolen property and failure to comply, while Lowery was convicted of receiving stolen property in a Ross County case.

The two entered SEPTA on the same day, Jan. 4. They had served 39 days of a possible 180-day sentence, Weaver said.

Investigators do not know of a motive for the escape.

The facility houses “non-violent, non-dangerous offenders who are eligible for parole” according to its website. While the inmates have scheduled work times and are required to be in inside the facility no later than 9:30 p.m., they have more recreation time allowed on weekends, Weaver said.

Lowery will be transported to North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County on charges related to the escape. .

Spires is not considered a danger to the public, according to SEPTA.

“Their histories do not tend to show any violence,” Weaver said.

Lowery is expected to face a charge of third-degree felony escape, Weaver said. Spires will also face the charge upon apprehension. They will also face community control violations for not completing their sentence at SEPTA.