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The nephew of Lisa Cleary – wife of S.C. Senator Ray Cleary – has a Facebook page. He has 201 friends and sporadically updates his “status.” He also exchanges messages with friends while commenting on their status updates and pictures.

At times, he talks about being lonely and missing his children – prompting his friends to offer their support and encouragement.

Big news, right? Of course not … millions of people have Facebook pages and use them for precisely this sort of social networking.

But when you look at Nick Macklen’s Facebook page, it’s worth noticing that all of his status updates are made “via Mobile web” (i.e. by a cell phone).

Why is that? One reason could be that “Nick Macklen” is in jail …

Sources tell FITS that “Nick Macklen” is really “Nick Macklin,” an inmate currently serving an extended sentence at the S.C. Department of Corrections’ maximum security prison in Lee County.

Macklen, 30, is one of four people charged in connection with a 2008 boat crash that killed a 13-year-old boy in Socastee, S.C. While fleeing the scene of a robbery, Macklen and his accomplice slammed their boat into another craft on the Intracoastal Waterway, killing 13-year-old Shayne Odermatt and injuring three others. They fled the scene of the accident and were aided in their escape by the mother of one of Macklen’s children.

Last year, Macklen was sentenced to 27 years in prison for burglary in the first degree and leaving the scene of a deadly accident.

According to our sources, the “Nick Macklin” below …

… is the same “Nick Macklen” that has been commenting on this Facebook page …

It’s unclear why “Macklin’s” name is misspelled on his Department of Corrections form, although his sentence start date, admission date and scheduled release date all match up with “Macklen’s” arrest and conviction records.

Physical characteristics – including a facial scar – also match up.

Obviously, someone could be impersonating Macklen – but a pair of sources who have interacted with him on Facebook privately acknowledged to FITS that he is the one sending and receiving the messages.

South Carolina is attempting to crack down on inmates using social media sites – an effort that has made national news. S.C. Rep. Wendell Gilliard, a Democrat, has sponsored legislation that would criminalize the practice. It is already illegal for inmates to smuggle cell phones behind prison walls.

A spokesman at the S.C. Department of Corrections told FITS that information from “Macklen’s” Facebook page would be provided to the Lee County warden, which would likely to result in his cell being searched for “contraband.”

The spokesman added that Macklen’s family connections would not interfere with the Department’s investigation of his alleged social networking.

“Contraband is contraband,” the spokesman said. “If an inmate is found with a smuggled cell phone, it won’t matter much what his political lineage is.”

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