Inmate escapes, captured last Friday night

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A second prisoner escape within the past year has Crenshaw County Sheriff Charles West making some physical changes to the fencing surrounding the jail.

Last Friday, inmate Jeremy Lynn Baggett, 28, escaped from the jail a little after 9 a.m., according to Investigator Ronnie White.

Baggett was already incarcerated on three charges, two of which are felonies: third-degree burglary, second-degree domestic violence, and criminal mischief, third degree.

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“He broke through the wire in the exercise yard area, crawled out and climbed on top of the building where he was then able to jump off to the outside,” White said.

A Butler County canine unit came to assist by 9:35 a.m., White said, along with members of the Luverne Police Department, Butler County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Alabama State Troopers and their Aviation Unit. Several local citizens helped with the search as well.

White said that when Baggett escaped, he was seen wearing black boxers with flames at the bottom of the legs and a white T-shirt.

“He was running west toward Rutledge,” White said.

Investigator Earl Thompson and members of the Butler County canine unit found three white T-shirts on the ground while tracking Baggett in the edge of a cotton field west of the jail. The shirts belonged to Baggett.

He was finally captured around 6:27 p.m. as he was coming out of the woods by Reserve Carlton Carmichael and Deputy Gered White.

White said that now, first-degree escape, which is a Class B felony, will be added to Baggett’s charges, and he will be listed in NCIC as a wanted fugitive.

Sheriff West said the prisoners are allowed outside for an hour a day. It was during this time that Baggett planned his escape.

“He worked on that wire for two days,” West said.

West said that a different type of reinforcement would be put around the fence and welded along the top of the building to prevent an escape like this from happening again.

At Monday night’s Crenshaw County Commission meeting, the Commission approved a motion to give Chairman Ronnie Hudson the authority to coordinate between Sheriff West and county engineer Benjie Sanders to work on the new security measures at the jail.