Inmate used fake gun in courthouse drama

Marilyn Tennissen Jul. 3, 2007, 11:22am

Andre David Leffebre

Leading corrections officers to believe he had a gun, a federal inmate caused a shut-down of the Jefferson County Courthouse on Monday.

At around 8:30 a.m. July 2, Andre David Leffebre displayed an object that officers of the privately run city jail thought was a handgun.

Although the "gun" was later discovered to be made out of paper, Leffebre held the corrections officers hostage for about an hour. Until the Taking no chances with the employees and citizens in the area, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and Beaumont Police Department locked down the adjacent courthouse complex.

The Sheriff's Department has reported that Lefebbre, 44, is a federal inmate charged with probation violation, weapons violations and the robbery of Bank One in Beaumont in 2004. He was being held on the fourth floor of the downtown jail, which is operated by a private company, GEO Corrections.

Negotiators were able to get Leffebre to surrender without incident. There were no injuries reported.

The downtown jail has a capacity of 500 federal, immigration and state inmates. Many inmates from other area correctional facilities are housed there temporarily while awaiting court appearances. The jail is under the control of the sheriff's department, but officers are employed by GEO.

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