‘Dangerous’ men who escaped Vancouver Island prison to be sentenced

Zachary Armitage (left) and James Lee Busch (right) escaped the William Head Institution on the evening of July 7. RCMP handout

One of two men who broke out of a Vancouver Island federal prison this summer will be sentenced later this week.

Zachary Armitage, 30, and fellow inmate James Lee Busch, 42, broke out of the minimum-security William Head Institution in Metchosin on July 7.

The pair were arrested in Victoria on July 9, after two days at large.

READ MORE: Police hunt for two ‘dangerous’ inmates who escaped Victoria-area prison

Armitage, 30, pleaded guilty Monday to escaping lawful custody in July.

Busch will be back in court on Thursday to be sentenced, while no date is set for Armitage to learn his fate.

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At the time of the inmates’ escape, police described them as “dangerous.”

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Busch was serving an indeterminate sentence for second-degree murder and assault. He has previously served time for aggravated sexual assault and escaping custody.

Armitage was serving a nearly 14-year sentence for robbery, aggravated assault and other offences, police said.

READ MORE: Escaped Vancouver Island prisoners recaptured in Esquimalt: RCMP

The Correctional Service of Canada said they are no longer being kept in a minimum-security institution, and that it has launched an investigation into the escape.

West Shore RCMP has refused to comment on whether Armitage and Busch are considered suspects or persons of interest in the murder of Metchosin man Martin Payne.

The exact circumstances of Payne’s homicide remain unclear, but police have appealed for tips from people in the area between the evening of July 7 and mid-day on July 9, and say the no longer believe the public is at risk.