The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Records: Officer accused in escape was alone


June 19, 2018

Jamie Cushman

Clovis Police execute a search warrant near Rio and Cesar Chavez Monday night. Capt. Roman Romero said the search was related to Friday's jail escape, but witnesses said the man arrested wasn't one of the three escapees still at large.

CLOVIS — Court records filed on Monday show Sarina Dodson, the Clovis detention officer accused of assisting in Friday’s escape of three detainees from the Curry County Adult Detention Center, was the only person working in the control room at the time of the escape.

Aaron Clark, Ricky Sena and Victor Apodaca escaped an outdoor recreation yard at 10:43 a.m. on Friday using doors that had been opened from the control room, according to the affidavit for arrest warrant for Dodson filed in Curry County Magistrate Court on Monday.

Dodson remained at the Lubbock County Detention Center following her Saturday arrest. Sheriff Wesley Waller said Dodson will return to Curry County at some point, either by waiving her extradition rights or through issuance of a governor’s warrant that compels her to return.

Also on Monday, the Clovis Police Department executed a search warrant near the intersection of Rio and Cesar Chavez. Capt. Roman Romero said the warrant was related to the jail escape, and directed further inquiries to Waller’s office. One man was taken into custody at the scene, but witnesses said the man arrested was not one of the escapees.

The affidavit for Dodson’s arrest describes an intercom system that allows for communication between officers in the control room and at the door from which the trio escaped had been activated and alarms had been silenced.

Two of the three doors used in the escape can only be opened via key or the control room computer system and the other locked door was opened by Apodaca using an unidentified object in just a matter of seconds, according to the affidavit.

In an interview with Deputy Sheriff Sandy Loomis following the escape, Dodson said that numerous doors in the facility had malfunctioned for the last two days and that prior to Friday’s escape she had dispatched officers to check the doors and the inmates in the recreation yard because the door lights were flashing.

Detention Center Administrator Mark Gallegos said Dodson did not report any issues with the doors prior to the escape, according to the affidavit.

The documents also allege interactions between Dodson and two of the detainees prior to the escape. In her interview with Loomis, Dodson said she knew Sena prior to becoming a detention officer but she did not have contact with him in the jail.

According to Gallegos, Dodson had recently been seen at least going into a cell with Sena, records show.

Investigators also determined Apodaca sent text messages since June 6 while he was held in the jail. Dodson confirmed the telephone number used to send the messages was her cell phone, according to the affidavit.

Dodson worked at the jail since January 2017, according to Curry County Manager Lance Pyle.

Waller said Monday afternoon that the three detainees were still at large.

“We’re still receiving tips and leads, we’re following up on all of those and we’re still asking for the public’s assistance if they know or see anything to contact the sheriff’s office or if they’d rather remain anonymous they can contact Crime Stoppers and Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest,” Waller said.

The Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 575-769-2335 and the Curry County Crime Stoppers can be reached at 575-763-7000.


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