Email claims prison official warned Danelo Cavalcante was ‘planning an escape’

By Danny Freeman, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) — About eight hours after convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante crab-walked out of a Chester County prison in August, a prison official sent the acting warden a message: Cavalcante had been “planning an escape” for months.

Chester County Prison Sergeant Jerry Beavers emailed Cpt. Harry Griswold about information he’d received from another employee.

“I am just sending this cause I don’t want this to come back on us or (Corrections Officer] Hernandez in anyway,” read the email sent just before 4 p.m. ET on August 31 — the day of the breakout — from Beavers to Griswold.

“He noted back in July that this inmate was planning an escape,” Beavers went on in the email, obtained by CNN.

The email shows Griswold then forwarded that note to Howard Holland, the acting warden of Chester County Prison, shortly before 5:30 p.m. that same day.

“This was sent to me this afternoon and I have not forwarded it [to] anyone else,” Griswold wrote. “I am not sure how you want to move forward with this information internally.”

The email is just the latest fallout from the prison escape and manhunt, which lasted for two weeks and left multiple communities in Chester County on edge at the end of the summer.

In a statement provided to CNN, a spokesperson for the Chester County Commissioners did not go into much more detail about the email exchange, first obtained by ABC News.

“These three wanted to ensure Acting Warden Holland knew that information about an escape was previously noted,” read part of the statement from Public Information Officer Rebecca Brain, referring to Sgt. Beavers, Cpt. Griswold, and Officer Hernandez.

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Hernandez’s first name was not provided by the county.

“During the time surrounding (Cavalcante’s summer) trial, unsubstantiated information from an unknown source was received reinforcing Cavalcante’s status as an escape risk,” read the statement.

The county also argued that escape risk policy has changed since Cavalcante’s escape.

Now inmates posing a potential escape risk wear different colored clothing and receive extra monitoring in the prison.

During the manhunt, the county confirmed it terminated the corrections officer who did not see or report Cavalcante’s escape when it happened.

After the escape, the county’s prison board voted to spend between $2.5 million and $3.5 million to fully enclose the prison yard.

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