Ex-guard appears in court on escape plot charges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former correctional officer was in court Wednesday on charges related to a plot to break out Tennessee's lone female death row inmate, Christa Gail Pike.

Justin Heflin, of Chattanooga, was indicted last month on bribery, official misconduct, conspiracy to commit escape and facilitation to commit escape. The former correctional officer at the Tennessee Prison for Women is accused of taking money and gifts from another man, Donald Kohut, of Flemington, N.J., to help in a scheme to let Pike escape.

Heflin, who has been released on bond, did not speak during his arraignment in Nashville on Wednesday, but his attorney, James R. Potter, of Clarksville, said his client reserved entering a plea.

Kohut, who was arrested last week in New Jersey, has not yet been extradited to Tennessee.

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