ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (WLS) --There are thousands of Larry Gordons who appear in American courts every day. Rank and file criminals. Not violent enough to be locked up for life, but repeat offenders who dance in and out of the criminal justice system. Sometimes, they try to get away.
When Gordon tried to make a run for it Monday at the Berrien County Courthouse, he didn't get very far.
His criminal history hadn't included previous jail breaks, although he had served prison time for fleeing from police.
His rap sheet dates to 1998, with his most recent probation in 2014, but nothing as serious as what happened at the Berrien County Courthouse: escape, kidnapping, a double murder of law enforcement.
In nearby Coloma, Mich., the house where he used to live with his now ex-wife and their children. The couple ran a mobile car wash and detailing business. The company's truck is still parked there. Gordon's ex telling a Grand Rapids TV station that he had mixed with the wrong people.
According to their divorce file obtained by the I-Team, things started going south two summers ago when she filed to get out of their marriage. The divorce became final in late march.
But this violence at the courthouse wasn't predictable by anything in the public record retrievable Monday night.
But could it have been preventable had these recommendations been embraced? The recent "Steps to Best Practices for Court Building Security" published by the National Center for State Courts recommends: "The transport officer closest to the prisoner should be armed with an intermediate weapon, i.e. Taser or baton."
It states that only the secondary officer should be carrying a firearm.
Courtroom security widely differs across the country and even across metro Chicago. For example, in Cook County, courtroom deputies and bailiffs do not carry guns during prisoner transfers specifically to prevent weapons from being grabbed and used against them. The sheriff in Berrien County says their practices and procedures will now undergo a full review.