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Archive for Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ex-prison guard enters not-guilty plea

November 20, 2007

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— A former prison guard accused of helping two inmates escape remained behind bars Monday after a federal judge entered a plea of not guilty on four firearms charges.

Amber Lynn Goff waived her right to contest the government's request for detention. The prosecution contended she is a flight risk.

Goff, 23, was indicted last week on federal charges of a giving firearms to convicted felons, giving firearms to fugitives from justice, transporting a stolen firearm across state lines and possessing a stolen firearm. Her parents discovered three handguns missing the night of the prison break.

Goff also faces state charges for allegedly helping inmates Jesse Bell, 33, and Steven Ford, 26, escape from a recreation yard at the El Dorado Correctional Facility on Oct. 28. The three were arrested in Grants, N.M., early Oct. 31.

The federal charges stem from three handguns her mother has said the family discovered missing the night of the prison break.

Magistrate Judge Karen Humphreys entered the not guilty plea on Goff's behalf at a brief arraignment in U.S. District Court in Wichita. It was the only plea that could be entered at this stage of the case.

"At this time she is not guilty. There is a presumption of innocence," her defense attorney, David Freund said outside the courtroom.

Her tearful family watched as a shackled Goff was led into the courtroom.

"Not all the truth is out at this time," her father, Mark Crutcher, said after the arraignment.

The family has said that Goff told them the inmates threatened her and her children.

The federal indictment was sketchy on details, but Goff's mother, Laurie Ann Nutter, told The Associated Press after her grand jury testimony last week that prosecutors wanted to know about three handguns.

The family had notified police the night of the prison break that three pistols - a .22 caliber, a .357 caliber and a .40-caliber Glock - were missing.

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