Inmate allowed to serve time at minimum-security prison despite history of escapes

Escaped inmate returned to minimum security

LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - A North Carolina inmate is serving his sentence at a minimum security prison in Caldwell County despite the fact that he has a history of breaking out of prison.

Larry Shumate is currently serving his 15-year sentence at the Caldwell Correctional Center after he was convicted in December 2005 for charges including being a habitual felon, possession of stolen goods, fleeing to elude arrest and cheating to obtain property or services.

Shumate has a long rap sheet that stretches back to 1981 with charges including assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a policeman, driving while intoxicated and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Shumate was also convicted of escaping from the minimum-security Yadkin Correctional Center in Yadkinville, NC in 1996. His record lists the same charge from 1989, too.

Despite his escape history, Shumate was moved to the minimum-security facility where he currently is in May 2015.

The move alarmed some Caldwell County residents who live nearby.

"That's not a good thing," said Kimerbley Cotts. "I've got a child and i don't really feel safe being out here knowing someone could escape from the prison."

The Caldwell Correctional Center sits just off the road, less than a mile from a neighborhood.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, which oversees the agency that runs the state's prisons, said the process of categorizing inmates and assigning them the a specific facility is complicated. She said Shumate was moved to a minimum-security facility after it was determined he was not a high security risk last year.

"Review of inmate Larry Shumate's information shows that the inmate is currently classified as Minimum II, and has been classified in the Minimum category for the past year. His case manager, taking into account assessments, previous history and current behavior, determined that he is not a security risk and meets the necessary guidelines for assignment to a minimum custody unit."

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