WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s not clear if more changes in the case against Michael Burham are coming, but Warren County, Pennsylvania’s prison board is expected to meet Wednesday.
Burham, the alleged rapist and arsonist also suspected in the Jamestown death of 34-year-old Kala Hodgkin this past May, was back in court Monday morning.
Burham’s preliminary hearing in Warren County pertained to his escape from a Pennsylvania prison, where he’s been held since mid-July following nine days on the run.
Prior to his prison escape, the man police described as a “self-taught survivalist” was found in South Carolina after allegedly kidnapping a couple in Pennsylvania at gunpoint. His capture took place on May 24, nearly two weeks after Hodgkin’s body was found by Jamestown police.
During Monday’s court appearance, additional charges were added. Nexstar contributor WJET says Burham is facing “multiple counts related to the kidnapping” and “a felony count of criminal conspiracy related to his escape on July 6.”
Since being brought back into custody, Burham is under watch 24 hours a day, with Erie County, Pennsylvania Executive Brenton Davis saying there’s “zero chance” he’ll get out this time.
But Burham’s escape still warranted talk of change to the prison infrastructure. Warren County says repairs to the roof of the prison yard are necessary.
“Essentially, it’s a box that is on the top level of the jail,” Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said. “The roof, there is a square hole in it that has a chainlink fence on top of steel girders, on top of it…There are pieces that hold that fence down. Those were broken, and so that was the hole that allowed him to escape through the roof.”
Burham’s escape involved bed sheets and elevating himself on exercise equipment. The commissioners and the prison board have since ordered the removal of the exercise equipment, so that equipment that doesn’t allow for higher positioning can take its place.