Holes in prison cell walls discovered after inmate murder

The hole in the wall between two high-security cells at Lebanon Correctional Institution was so large that killer Casey Pigge regularly shimmied through it so he could visit and play cards with the prisoners next door.

Covered with newspapers and obscured by hanging clothes, guards at the maximum security prison didn't know there 2-foot by 2-foot gaping hole existed — until the day Pigge used a cinder block from the wall to bash in his cellmate's head, according to an investigative report released by the Ohio Highway Patrol.

“Once the paper was taken down off the wall, we observed how large the hole was. The hole was between cell 2R5 and 2R4, and was big enough for a person to fit through,” investigators wrote.

Pigge, who was serving time for murdering his girlfriend's mother, attacked his cellmate, Luther Wade, of Springfield, on Feb. 23, 2016. He told authorities that he tricked Wade into wearing a blindfold as part of a card game and then used the wall cinder block to beat Wade to death. The two had been cellmates for less than two days.

Nearly a year later, appearing in court wrapped in a straitjacket, Pigge agreed to plead guilty to Wade’s murder and accept a sentence of life in prison without parole. Then on Feb. 1, 2017, Pigge sat in the very back of a prison bus driving between Columbus and Lucasville, out of sight of three state corrections officers sitting up front.

Other inmates on the bus told state troopers that Pigge removed his belly chain and used it to strangle and beat another inmate to death. The guards on the bus told troopers that they didn't hear or see a thing. Pigge is pleading not guilty to murder charges in that attack.

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