(AP) SANTA ANA, Calif. One of the three men who staged a daring, well-planned jailbreak from Southern California was given a 20-year prison term on Friday. Bac Tien Duong, 49, received a term for both the breakout on January 22, 2016, and the attempted murder charge in the case that got him behind up in the first place. It was acknowledged that he had previously served more than seven years in prison. Duong, a notorious street gang member, and two other prisoners escaped from the Orange County Central Jail Complex in Santa Ana while they were awaiting trial.
According to authorities and a cellphone video taken by one of the men, the three men used smuggled tools to cut through a metal grate in their maximum-security dorm cell. They then climbed through plumbing shafts inside the walls to reach the roof, where they rappelled down five stories using a rope made of bedsheets.
On that day, Duong allegedly called an unlicensed cab driver who had placed an ad in newspapers written in Vietnamese. As he drove the men around, the 72-year-old driver was kidnapped and occasionally held at gunpoint. After that, the men stole a van, and they travelled hundreds of miles north to the San Francisco Bay Area with both vehicles and taxi driver Long Ma, according to the investigators.
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According to an account Ma gave the Orange County Register in 2016, the guys and Ma slept in motels up until Jan. 29, when Duong took the chance to travel back to Southern California with Ma alone while informing her that another escapee had meant to kill the driver. Following a weeklong manhunt, Hossein Nayeri and Jonathan Tieu, the other two suspects, were captured the following day in San Francisco.
The cab driver, who claims Duong saved his life, sent a letter to the court pleading with the judge to be merciful to Duong, according to the Register. Of the three guys, Duong was the first to stand trial on allegations of escape. Tieu was facing a retrial for a shooting that occurred outside an Orange County pool hall in 2011 and was accused of murder and attempted murder at the time of the escape. In 2020, Nayeri was found guilty of torturing a marijuana dispensary whose penis had been severed in 2012 by robbers who believed he had stashed $1 million in the desert and sentenced to life in jail without the chance of release.