In Jail 36 Years for Stealing His Own Tools

Talk about a poster child for criminal justice reform, take this Black Lives Matter.

This man spent 36 years in prison for stealing his OWN tools! He wasn’t a murderer, a rapist, or a Democrat! This guy was just trying to get what was rightfully his, and things spiraled.

As reported by CBS News,

If all went well, a man who has spent 36 years in prison for stealing his own tools would have been paroled on Wednesday.

Instead, Mark DeFriest must spend at least six more months in prison to prepare himself for freedom.

DeFriest, now 55, was just a teenager when he stole the mechanics tools his late father had bequeathed him before the will was read. His burglary conviction — which came with just a four-year sentence — resulted in a virtual life sentence after repeated prison escapes, and earned him the “Prison Houdini” nickname.


After DeFriest’s father died, the 19-year-old didn’t wait for the will to be read before collecting the mechanic tools, using a key to get them from his father’s shed, Middleton said. His stepmother reported him to the police, and when they questioned him, he ran. It didn’t help that he had a gun, though he never pulled it.

That’s what landed him in prison. After that, it was DeFriest’s deciding that he didn’t deserve to be there, ergo his wanton to escape that landed him longer and longer bids in the joint.

In all, he had seven successful escapes in 13 attempts. He was also charged with stealing a car at gunpoint and breaking into a friend’s home after one escape. Each offense added more time to his sentence, and behavior problems gave the parole commission no reason to move up his release date. He has nearly 400 disciplinary reports on file, including 65 from 1983 alone.

Should an innocent man be made to serve prison time for trying to escape? Isn’t that his duty?



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