POSTED: 9:34 am EST November 4, 2005
UPDATED: 9:45 am EST November 4, 2005
HOUSTON -- The search is on for a Texas death row inmate who escaped from a Houston jail by disguising himself as an attorney for the state.
Authorities said Charles Thompson used civilian clothing and a fake ID badge to sneak out of the Harris County Jail.
Thompson, 35, had an ID card suggesting he worked for the Texas Attorney General's Office. A sheriff's lieutenant thinks the convicted murderer was taken out of the cell block and put in the attorney booth under the pretext of having an attorney visit.
Investigators believe Thompson was so convincing that a deputy let him out of the jail.
"He changed into some type of civilian clothing. It is described as khaki pants, a dark blue shirt and white tennis shoes," said Harris County Sheriff's Department Lt. John Martin.
But before he changed clothes, Thompson persuaded guards to let him out of his cell for an attorney visit. Authorities believe that was one of two ruses he used to escape the jail.
"He also had some kind of a tag or ID that suggested he was with the Attorney General's Office. He approached the floor control center and the deputy saw his tag. It apparently was convincing enough that the deputy allowed him to leave the building," Martin said. "We're still looking into where he got the clothing, where he got the tag, exactly how he was able to get out of the secure area of the facility," Martin said.
The prisoner was transferred from death row to the Harris County Jail on Thursday for a court appearance.
Thompson was resentenced to death last Friday for the shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend in 1998
Every law enforcement agency in the area is on the lookout for Thompson. Authorities consider Thompson extremely dangerous and should not be approached if spotted.
Thompson is a white man, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds.
Authorities with the Harris County Sheriff's Department believe Thompson might have gained access to a 2003 gray Nissan Frontier pickup truck shortly after walking out of the Harris County Jail about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
The pickup truck has Texas license plates, 8WL-X62.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office at (713) 221-6000, the Criminal Warrants Division at (713) 755-6055 or 911.