A former Avoyelles Parish sheriff’s corrections officer faces 18 months in prison after she admitted her role in allowing an inmate to leave a jail transport van in Paincourtville in a plan to buy illegal drugs.

Michelle George, 47, 7228 La. 451, Moreauville, pleaded guilty to counts of assisting escape and malfeasance in office in a deal with prosecutors who dropped an obstruction of justice charge also pending against her, court records show.

Prosecutors accused George of allowing inmate Felicia Daigle, 29, of Napoleonville, to leave the van the evening of March 26 to buy drugs along a section of Pugh Street known for illegal drugs.

George was ferrying Daigle and two other inmates from the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office to the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport, where they were being held for the Assumption sheriff.

Daigle did not return from the attempted drug buy, and George sent out another inmate from the van to find Daigle. George later made up a story for Assumption sheriff’s deputies about Daigle’s escaping from the rear of the van on La. 70 near the Gator Corner gas station, miles from where she had been let out.

George had told the other inmates to keep their stories straight. The inmates initially gave the false account, too, but later changed their stories, prosecutors said in a news release earlier this week.

Daigle, who still faces a count of simple escape, was found in her home in Labadieville three hours after her escape.

George was arrested April 1, prosecutors said.

After George’s plea Monday at the Assumption Parish Courthouse in Napoleonville, 23rd Judicial District Judge Jessie LeBlanc sentenced her to three years in prison on each count but suspended 18 months of each term. LeBlanc allowed each sentence to be served concurrently and gave George three years of probation after her release from prison, prosecutors said.

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