Blackman Township — An inmate serving a life sentence for murder has been caught during an escape attempt at a southern Michigan prison.

State Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz tells the Jackson Citizen Patriot Friday that John Effinger III, 51, tried scaling fences Thursday evening in a vehicle entry and exit area of the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Blackman Township.

Gautz says staff found Effinger “clinging to the inside panel of the outer fence” after an alarm was activated.

Effinger never reached the facility’s perimeter and was arrested without incident.

Corrections records show he was sentenced in 1992 following a plea in a first-degree murder case out of Kent County. Records also show he was sentenced in 1988 for prison escape in a separate case.

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