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Two Women Who Worked at Juvenile Detention Center Allegedly Helped Teen Murder Suspect’s Wild Escape Attempt

Shelby, Mackall

Two women who worked as correctional officers at the Donald R. Kuhn Juvenile Detention Center in West Virginia are accused of helping a teen murder suspect escape. Authorities say that one of the defendants had an “inappropriate relationship” with the defendant.

It is alleged that 25-year-old Alexanderia Shelby and 32-year-old Larissa Mackall conspired to help 18-year-old Dominick Joseph McClung escape after McClung “intentionally injured” himself. We are naming McClung because he is now an adult and is being tried as such. WCHS, citing the complaint, reported that it was discovered that Mackall “had an inappropriate relationship with McClung and admitted to kissing him on his 18th birthday, while McClung was incarcerated at the Kuhn Center.”

The story goes that McClung escaped on June 28 while he was on a medical transport that occurred after McClung intentionally hurt himself. That was all part of the plan. The defendants are accused of knowing about the escape for weeks and helping to facilitate it in real time.

The duo allegedly admitted that the plot was to help McClung escape during the transport, after which point Shelby would meet him at a gas station and drive McClung to a house for the night.

Per the complaint, McClung “winked and made a head gesture” to indicate to Mackall that the escape attempt was a go. Adding to the absurdity, Mackall allegedly called Shelby and DM’d her on Facebook to keep her posted both about the status of McClung’s escape and law enforcement’s response to it.

All of this proved to be for naught because McClung was arrested just three hours later. The defendants lost their jobs two weeks ago.

Shelby and Mackall were each charged Friday with conspiracy. The former’s bond is set at $50,000, while the latter posted bond.

McClung (pictured here) is being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail. He is being charged with a felony for the escape attempt, but that should be the least of his concerns.

McClung was indicted in June for first-degree murder in the brutal Sept. 2019 killing of 68-year-old Karen Yeager. Michael Wayne Leadmon, 23, was also charged in the case. After pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Oct. 2019, Leadmon was sentenced to 40 years behind bars. McClung also faces charges for robbery, burglary, and the concealment of Yeager’s body.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said the victim was stabbed and strangled to death after the suspects broke into her home—then they dumped the body under the Fifth Street Bridge.

“The investigation reveals that Leadmon and a juvenile had broken into the home of Karen Yeager and once inside were confronted by Ms. Yeager after they tripped an alarm,” Martin said, according to the Parkersburg News and Sentinel. “During this confrontation, Ms. Yeager was struck and became unconscious. The defendants then choked her and eventually stabbed her in the neck, killing her.”

This is far from the only example of jail or prison employees helping inmates escape. Nor is it the only example in which an “inappropriate relationshipbetween corrections officers and inmates was discovered.

[Image via West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation]

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Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.