Jailer Bo Morris stands besides one of the bays in the county’s transport van. Up to five inmates can be transported on one side of the van. The inmate population continues to explode, and county officials say that even if the jail were open, most of the inmates would still have to be transported elsewhere because the local jail could not hold them all.
By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
“How did that happen?” is the question being asked of Jailer Bo Morris since an inmate ran away from the courthouse on Wednesday, Oct. 10 as staff escorted inmates into the county’s transport van.
Morris said that Casey Myers and others were transported to the Estill County Courthouse last Wednesday for a court appearance. They arrived around 9 or 9:15 a.m. and were taken upstairs for court.
Around 3:30 p.m., the inmates were being loaded up to take them back to Three Forks Regional Jail in Beattyville.
Morris said four females were already loaded in the transport van which was parked only a few feet away from the courthouse door, and five males were being escorted out, when Myers suddenly bent over and threw off the shackles on his ankles that apparently had already been loosened by himself or someone else. Myers then sprinted away, still in handcuffs.
Local officials then released an alert to the public that Myers escaped from the courthouse and ran off into the woods on Church Street.
He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and orange pants. Myers is tall and thin and also has multiple tattoos on his neck.
Police have responded to several tips about Myers whereabouts, but he still had not been found at press time.
According to one tip, a pair of orange pants was found by the road in South Irvine, but Morris could not say for sure if they were Myers’.
Myers was arrested on Sept. 13 and charged with second degree burglary and being a persistent felony offender after he was allegedly captured on a surveillance camera stealing an Echo weed eater and a Stanley battery charger from the garage area of a residence. Myers was identified by a tattoo on his neck.
According to a report from the Irvine Police Department, Myers pawned the items above at Dan’s Discount in Richmond, where the business paid him $65 for the items. Myer’s appearance in court on Wednesday was at least the second since his arrest.
Jailer Morris said on Friday that keeping an eye on inmates is sometimes difficult. He said they will sometimes try to bend over and pick up cigarette butts by the trash can on their way out of the courthouse.
He also said that he has seen inmates pick open handcuffs with a paper clip or stiff wire “faster than I can get them open with a key.”
Deputy Jailer Chad Smith expressed frustration that being short on staff sometimes makes it hard to carefully watch the inmates. Besides Jailer Morris, there are three full time deputies, one for each shift, and two part time deputies. Inmates must also be escorted to and from the restroom and taken to lunch in a holding room inside the space formerly operated as the jail.
Anyone with any information about Myers is urged to call 911.
Cutline: The transport van holds up to three people in the front cage, and five on each side in the back of the van.