Prisoner briefly escapes from U.P. prison

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — A 19-year-old inmate briefly escaped a medium-security state prison in the Upper Peninsula early Tuesday morning but was later apprehended by the Michigan State Police at a nearby hotel in Newberry.

Alize Montague was spotted climbing over a fence at the Newberry Correctional Facility at about 2 a.m., according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Corrections officers in a security vehicle spotted Montague crossing M-123 on foot, and they chased him, according to a news release.

State troopers apprehended Montague at about 3:30 a.m. about a mile away from the Newberry prison after a hotel clerk called 911, according to the state Department of Corrections.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Border Patrol agents assisted state troopers from Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace in the search.

The 20-year-old Newberry prison has two 16-foot fences with razor-ribbon wire, according to the Corrections Department’s website.

Montague was treated for injuries sustained during the escape at a local hospital, according to the Department of Corrections.

“We are thankful this incident ended quickly and without injury to the public,” state Corrections Director Heidi Washington said in a statement.

Montague was transferred to a higher-security prison and will face new criminal charges for the escape, according to the Department of Corrections.

Montague was sentenced in January to up to 10 years in prison for malicious destruction of personal property, assault by strangulation or suffocation and assault and resisting arrest by a police officer for crimes that occurred in Monroe County, according to state records.

According to state records, Montague’s earliest release date is July 18, 2020, and his maximum sentence is July 2025.

Montague is the first inmate to escape from a state prison since Feb. 2, 2014, when convicted murderer Michael David Elliot escaped from the Ionia Correctional Facility on Super Bowl Sunday and led authorities on a manhunt that ended the next day 150 miles away in LaPorte County, Indiana.

There were no escapes from state correctional facilities in 2015, said Chris Gautz, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood