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Attorney Says Deputy Was ‘Flimflammed’ Into Giving Inmate Gun

October 7, 1987 GMT

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ A sheriff’s deputy was ″flimflammed″ by a hardened criminal into providing him with the gun he used to shoot an officer and escape last weekend, her attorney said Tuesday.

Attorney Nathaniel D. Rothstein said it was not clear whether his client, Gale V. Coleman, 32, had fallen in love with the inmate, LaRon McKinley, 31.

″All I can say is the guy flimflammed her, he conned her,″ Rothstein said. ″She was gullible. ... This is a pathetic situation.″

Milwaukee County District Attorney Thomas P. Schneider said he planned to charge Mrs. Coleman during a Thursday court appearance with assisting in McKinley’s escape.

Because the escape occurred in Madison, Dane County authorities also are considering charges against Mrs. Coleman, Schneider said.

Court Commissioner Frank Liska set $100,000 bail for Mrs. Coleman, who had been employed by the sheriff’s department since April 1984..

Sheriff Richard Artison announced Monday that he accepted her resignation after she admitted providing McKinley with a four-inch, derringer-type pistol, ammunition, handcuff keys and about $40.

Rothstein said Mrs. Coleman, who is married and has three children, was told repeatedly by McKinley that he was a victim of the system ″and she bought that drivel.″

″He told her he simply wanted to get away and establish a new life somewhere,″ Rothstein said. ″And she agreed to help him with this, but always under the condition that there would be no threats, no violence. She extracted a promise from him, which he broke.″

He said McKinley told her ″he only wanted the weapon as an element of surprise.″

McKinley’s convictions include kidnapping, false imprisonment and aggravated battery and he has been sentenced to a total of 186 years in prison for convictions in Madison, Milwaukee and California.

He had been held in Milwaukee since May and was being taken to Madison for return to Folsom Prison in California when he escaped Friday.

One of the two Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies escorting him was shot in the neck and the other suffered minor injuries when he leaped from the squad car before it crashed. The wounded deputy, James Paradinovich, 34, remained hospitalized in good condition Tuesday.

McKinley fled on foot but was recaptured in a nearby apartment building about three hours later, still wearing his orange jail coveralls and shackles on wrists and ankles.

Mrs. Coleman had been suspended from her job for two days in March after an investigation into fraternization with inmates. She was accused of giving an inmate a key and allowing him to walk down a hallway and make a security check for her.