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Former Frontera Prison Guard Pleads Guilty to Helping Inmate Escape

February 13, 1991| From Associated Press

CHINO — A former prison guard pleaded guilty Monday to helping a prisoner convicted of murder escape from a maximum-security facility.

Cindy Coglietti said she hid Jeanette Lynn Hughes in a prison van and smuggled her out the front gate of the California Institution for Women at Frontera on March 25, 1990.

The two women were captured eight days later in El Paso, Tex.

At a preliminary hearing Monday, Hughes was ordered to stand trial on charges of prison escape.

In return for pleading guilty to harboring a fugitive, Coglietti will receive a reduced sentence, said James Kirkley, a San Bernardino County deputy district attorney. She faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced March 5.

Prosecutors said they will seek a 16-month sentence. "She has no prior record and no force or violence was used during the escape," Kirkley said Monday.

Kirkley said that Coglietti will probably be given credit for the months spent in jail since her capture. Any additional time will not be served at the Frontera facility, corrections spokesman Tipton Kindel said.

During Hughes' hearing, a corrections officer testified that Hughes was last seen at the prison being escorted by Coglietti after a visit with her father.

In previous interviews, Hughes has said that she wanted to escape because she had been raped by a male prison guard who threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

Hughes, 36, was convicted of killing her husband, James Hughes. He was shot twice in the head while asleep in the couple's Huntington Beach home.

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