Inmate receives life in prison

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2003

His attempts to escape from jail have resulted in a lifetime to be spent behind bars for Covington County Jail inmate Mark Cohron.

Cohron, 34, made two escape attempts from the jail in the last three months, neither successful, and the last one resulting in a

trip to the hospital after he fell on razor wire while attempting to flee.

According to Chief Assistant District Attorney Greg Gambril, Cohron

recently pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Covington County before Judge Ashley McKathan to Escape in the Second Degree, Burglary in the Third Degree, and Criminal Trespass in the First Degree. He received concurrent life sentences for the escape and burglary charge and a concurrent one-year sentence for the trespass charge.

According to warrant affidavits filed with the circuit court clerk's office, Cohron was named in several burglaries reported in the Florala area on May 5, 2003. Included in those reports were break-ins at the Florala Senior Center, a supply room belonging to the Alabama State Defense Force, located in the Florala Civic Center, and a Florala residence, where Cohron was ultimately apprehended.

"Upon being arrested, Cohron was wearing clothing that was stolen from the Alabama State Defense Force supply room and was in possession of property from the Florala Senior Center," said Gambril. When questioned, Cohron admitted to committing these break-ins, Gambril added.

"Mr. Cohron had several prior felony convictions, which made the minimum sentence on most of his charges life imprisonment," said Gambril. " Because of his repeated criminal conduct, which continued even after he was placed in the Covington County Jail, we refused to agree to let Mr. Cohron plead to anything by life imprisonment."

Cohron's first escape attempt came on May 31, 2003, when jailers discovered him hiding in the jail chapel after evening services were over.

"Investigation of the escape revealed a metal chair leg in the attic and damage to the metal roof where Mr. Cohron was attempting to break through," said Gambril. " On a later attempt, Mr. Cohron again attempted to escape from the jail, but seriously hurt himself in the process. He has been hospitalized since that attempt."

According to earlier reports from the Covington County Sheriff's Department, Cohron attempted to exit the exercise yard by climbing a guy wire, only to fall before he could get over, landing on the razor wire that circles the perimeter of the compound.

Although neither of Cohron's attempts to escape were successful, he is still charged with escape.

"Under the law, if someone escapes or attempts to escape, but fails, from a penal facility such as the Covington County Jail, he is still liable for Escape in the Second Degree," said Gambril.