Prisoner's former attorney "shocked" about escape - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Prisoner's former attorney "shocked" about escape

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Michael David Elliot Michael David Elliot

A manhunt is underway for an inmate who escaped from a prison in Ionia County, Michigan.  Michael David Elliot was serving time for killing four people in 1993.  He was also accused of burning down a house to cover-up the murders.

Attorney Gerald White represented Elliot during the trial in 1994.  White says he was shocked to learn about Elliot's escape.  "I thought, obviously, Ionia is a maximum security prison and for him to just simply walk away is unbelievable."

White says the trial is something he'll never forget.  "It is very vivid in my mind," he says.  "It was a very gruesome circumstance."

White says Elliot was convicted of killing four people during a robbery in Gladwin County.  According to court documents, Elliot laughed about the shooting.  The documents state, "The four co-defendants ended up at (Elliot's) aunt's house in Saginaw.  Once inside of the house, (Elliot) told the others that he had shot Tufnell in the head and had shot everyone in the back of the head.  (Elliot) was laughing as he made these remarks."

White says Elliot was cordial and articulate during the trial.  "I'll be honest with you," White says.  "He did not appear to be the type of person who would have been involved in this rather gruesome incident.  He didn't appear to be that type of individual."

White says Elliot was actively involved in his own defense.  "He maintained his innocence all the way through the verdict," White says.  But when asked about Elliot's innocence, White says he now has some doubts.  "When the murder weapon was found on him.  It kind of gives you some kind of clue that he was involved," White says.

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