2 men walk away from Lexington minimum-security prison

Donnie Johnson, 38,
Donnie Johnson, 38,

Authorities continued to search Monday for two inmates from Blackburn Correctional Complex in Fayette County who walked away from the minimum-security state prison the night before.

Donnie Johnson, 38, and Willard Wilson, 49, were confirmed missing about 8:20 p.m. Sunday, according to police and prison officials.

Johnson was serving a 13-year sentence for Kenton County convictions of first-degree robbery and receiving stolen property over $300. He would have been eligible for parole in July 2014, a state Department of Corrections news release said.

Johnson is 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds with brown eyes. He has a tattoo on his right hand that says "LOVE" and one on his left hand that says "HATE," according to a news release from the Kentucky State Police post in Frankfort.

Wilson is 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, authorities said. He was serving a 22-year sentence for convictions in Kenton and Boone counties of third-degree burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, receiving stolen property over $300, escape and theft. He would have been eligible for parole in March 2014, the Department of Corrections news release said.

Three inmates escaped from Blackburn in 2012, and there have been three escapes this month — Wilson, Johnson and Richard Roland, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Lamb. Roland walked away from Blackburn on Thursday and was captured within an hour.

Lamb said that after all escapes and serious accidents, a team of corrections professionals outside the facility reviews all aspects of the incident to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to policies.

She said authorities have determined that all three cases were classified appropriately.

To be housed at a state minimum-custody facility, offenders must be within 48 months of completing their sentences or meeting the parole board.

Inmates also are rated by the severity of crimes for which they are serving time, disciplinary history, age and severity of prior incarcerations.

Lamb said inmates sometimes walk away after receiving "disappointing news such as not making parole."

"Roland was denied parole the day before he walked away; Johnson was also denied parole last week," Lamb said. "Both offenders were reviewed after the parole board denial and maintained their minimum-custody status."

Can you help?

Anyone with information about escapees Willard Wilson and Donnie Johnson is asked to contact Kentucky State Police at (502) 227-2221 or the Lexington Division of Police at (859) 258-3600.