- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A prison inmate awaiting trial in three homicide cases injured a guard and a nurse in an attempt to escape from a Philadelphia hospital over the weekend, authorities say.

Justin Mackie, 20, an inmate at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, had been taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center for a medical procedure, The Philadelphia Daily News (http://bit.ly/1z0CgiM ) reported.

Mackie had been in a hospital bed with hands and feet shackled but asked to use the bathroom Sunday, according to Lorenzo North, president of Local 159, which represents the city’s 1,800 correctional officers.

The prisoner somehow had obtained a handcuff key and emerged unrestrained, head-butting a correctional officer, according to North and prison spokeswoman Shawn Hawes. He then attacked a nurse before he was tackled by hospital security guards, North said. A second guard, who had escorted Mackie to the hospital, was away on a lunch break, North said.

Officials said the guard remains hospitalized with head injuries and the nurse was treated and released.

Hawes said inmates usually must be accompanied by two guards at all times when off prison grounds, and guards usually stand guard outside the bathroom door when inmates are using the bathroom. She said investigators will probe whether procedures were followed and how Mackie got the handcuff key.

Mackie has been behind bars since July 2013, when he and his stepbrother Tevin Hammond, 21, were involved in a shootout with police and FBI agents in the city’s East Mount Airy section, authorities say. Hammond was killed and Mackie was wounded in the back, neck and right shoulder.

Mackie is currently awaiting trial in three separate killings in the city in July 2013. With the attempted escape Sunday, he now faces charges including aggravated assault, escape, terroristic threats, and disarming a law enforcement officer.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Daily News, http://www.phillydailynews.com/

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