Second woman arrested, accused of aiding prison escape

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) — A second woman has been arrested and accused of helping two inmates who recently escaped from a maximum-security prison in Wisconsin.

The 46-year-old Madison woman drove a vehicle that picked up Thomas Deering and James Newman from a grocery store in Poynette hours after they escaped from the Columbia Correctional Institution April 16, sheriff’s officials said. Poynette is about 12 miles from Portage.

The woman has not been formally charged.

Deering and Newman scaled two fences at the prison and threw clothing over the barbed wire to escape, according to officials.

Another woman, 46-year-old Holly Zimdahl, has been charged with aiding in the inmates’ escape, the State Journal reported.

Zimdahl is accused of providing items to the inmates to help them escape. She told investigators she received threatening messages against herself and her family while working at the prison kitchen.

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