Escaped inmate suspected of stabbing officer at SC Walmart captured

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina authorities captured an inmate who escaped a maximum-security prison and was suspected in the stabbing of a police officer miles away.

Michael Allen Williamson, 47, was captured just before 11 a.m. Thursday in the town of Lexington, South Carolina, ABC News reported.

(Michael Williamson)

Williamson, who is serving a life sentence, escaped around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday from McCormick Correctional Institution, according to Dexter Lee of the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Authorities haven't released details about how they believe Williamson was able to get away from the maximum-security prison in western South Carolina.

(Surveillance image of Williamson)

Later Wednesday night, a female police officer who was responding to a shoplifting call was stabbed inside a Walmart store in Columbia, about 80 miles east of the prison, police said.

Jennifer Timmons of the Columbia Police Department said that Officer Ashley Hardesty was stabbed multiple times in the upper body but was recovering from her injuries.

Both Corrections officials and police said they believe Williamson stabbed Hardesty.

Williamson began serving a life sentence for armed robbery and assault and battery with intent to kill in 1997.

Williamson will not return to McCormick Correctional Institution, ABC reported.

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