Reward for escaped inmates set at $25k


A $25,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the capture of two inmates who boldly escaped from a Palo Alto courthouse Monday, Santa Clara County sheriff’s officials said.

The reward was announced this afternoon, more than two days after inmates, Tramel McClough, 47, and John Bivins, 46, fled from custody.

Two people were arrested Tuesday in connection with helping the two escape. Marquita Kirk and Rene Hunt were both arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact.

Kirk, 44, of Sunnyvale, was arrested at about 5 a.m. Tuesday morning in Sunnyvale. She allegedly rented a U-Haul truck and staged it near the courthouse to serve as a getaway vehicle. Additionally, she has a long-standing relationship with McClough, sheriff’s officials said.

Information about Hunt’s arrest or his involvement in the inmates’ escape hasn’t been released.

The morning of the escape, Bivins and McClough were heading to a court appearance in the same courtroom at about 9:30 a.m. As the deputies were escorting the inmates to court, the inmates caused a distraction and bolted for an emergency exit.

The pair then got into an awaiting 1980s-model Toyota Corolla about 50-60 yards away from the courthouse. The pair and those who accompanied them in the getaway vehicle dumped the Toyota at an undisclosed location, got into the U-Haul, drove away and haven’t been seen since.

The inmates appeared to have a handcuff key in their possession sometime during the escape, although it’s unclear how they acquired it.

Bivins is described as a 5 foot 9 inch, 180 pound black man with brown eyes and black hair. McClough is a 6 foot, 4 inch black man who weighs 285 pounds. Both inmates had jumpsuits with an orange top and gray pants that they didn’t change out of while escaping.

Anyone who sees them is advised to call 911, the sheriff’s office at (408) 808-3670 or the tip line at (408) 808-4431.

Both men were arrested in February on suspicion of stealing $64,400 worth of cellphones and other merchandise from a Verizon store in Sunnyvale, police said earlier this year.

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