U.S. Marshals offering $5,000 reward for information leading to arrest of escaped Bon Air inmates

Convicted murderer among inmates at-large after escaping Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The U.S. Marshals Service’s Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of both inmates who escaped from the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center.

The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) says Jabar A. Taylor, 20, and Rashad E. Williams, 18, escaped in the early morning hours of Monday through a hole that had been cut in a security fence.

Virginia State Police says two employees who worked at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center have been charged with helping two residents escape.

Destiny L. Harris, 23, of Chesterfield County, was arrested and charged Tuesday morning with two counts of aiding with the escape of a juvenile. State police said Harris, a Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice employee who worked at the Bon Air facility, is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail.

On the morning of July 15, the Virginia State Police says Darren Briggs, 42, of Lawrenceville, Va. and a Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice employee who worked at the Bon Air facility, was arrested and charged on one felony count of providing a cell phone to a prisoner. Briggs was taken into custody without incident. Briggs is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail.

Destiny L. Harris, 23, (left) and Darren Briggs, 42, (right) have both been charged with helping two men escape from Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center
Destiny L. Harris, 23, (left) and Darren Briggs, 42, (right) have both been charged with helping two men escape from Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center (Source: Chesterfield Jail)

An investigation says the residents used a cord of undetermined origin to choke the security staff member, who briefly lost consciousness.

They took the staff member’s keys which they used to exit the unit and then escaped through a hole that had been cut in the facility’s perimeter security fence.

They then boarded and left in a vehicle that appears to have been waiting for them.

Police said at this stage in the investigation, it is believed that both the inmates have left Virginia. The pair has known ties to Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.

“It’s a little scary. We’re all going to lock up more tightly now,” said Martha Mathews, who doesn’t live too far away from the facility, adding that her neighborhood is on high alert.

The older inmate, Taylor, was serving a 50-year sentence for stabbing two men to death in back in 2015. Williams’ malicious wounding and robbery charges are tied to Fredericksburg, where both men were processed before going to Bon Air.

They were set to transfer to an adult prison once they turned 21 years old.

“This is the first escape we’ve had at Bon Air in over 20 years,” DJJ Director Valerie Boykin said. “DJJ takes very seriously our role in promoting public safety, and are therefore releasing the names and photos of these young adults to aid in their apprehension, as allowed by the Virginia Code [16.1-309.1]. We are very concerned about how this happened and will fully investigate the circumstances and ensure that appropriate action is taken.”

”Last time I remember it happening was 1988; we’ve been here since then. That was a whole bunch of young kids who escaped. They were running around the neighborhood, from what I understand,” Mathews said.

Many neighbors say they are worried about their safety, but some took solace in the belief that the men may not be in the area anymore.

“We’re reassured that hopefully, they’re not around since we did hear that they left in a car,” Mathews added.

It was unclear whether the residents cut the hole in the fence, or whether the hole had been pre-cut, according to the investigation.

The staff member was treated and released from a nearby hospital emergency room.

DJJ says Taylor is from Spotsylvania County and was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated malicious assault. Taylor is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 138 pounds.

Williams is from Washington, D.C. and the DJJ says Williams was convicted of malicious wounding and robbery. Williams is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 140 pounds.

Virginia State Police responded to the scene to take evidence and statements from DJJ staff, and a search for the escapees got underway.

DJJ’s internal investigation unit also will complete an investigation regarding what transpired.

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