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Sheriff deputies catch inmate who escaped in courthouse ceiling

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:50 a.m. HST, Nov 1, 2012

A prison inmate who escaped from the state Circuit Court building Wednesday is back in custody.

The state Sheriff Division’s Fugitive Unit apprehended Darius Puni-Mau this morning at the Safeway store on Pali Highway and Vineyard Boulevard.

Sheriff deputies at the courthouse discovered Puni-Mau missing about noon Wednesday. They believe he entered a space above the ceiling above a third-floor room where prisoners can talk to their lawyers before and after court hearings. They believe he crawled about 40 feet, dropped down into a utility room and walked out through a nearby exit.

Puni-Mau was at court Wednesday for a probation violation hearing.

Public Safety officials initially reported that two prisoners had escaped, but a later check showed that only one got away.

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