2 of 3 inmates who escaped via ‘sick’ prisoner scheme recaptured, murder suspect still missing

Posted at 3:43 PM, Dec 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-14 17:43:57-05

By Greg Botelho and Kevin Conlon


(CNN) — Two of the three inmates who escaped from a rural Alabama jail over the weekend are now back in custody, but the third, a murder suspect, remains on the lam.

Armed robbery suspect Justin Terrell Gordon was captured about 100 miles north of the Choctaw County jail on Saturday evening, some 12 hours after breaking out along with cellmates Gemayel Culbert and Demarcus Woodward, according to Sheriff Tom Abate. Culbert, who was being held on capital murder charges, was captured Sunday in Sumter County, which is about 50 miles from the jail.

Authorities have yet to find the 23-year-old Woodward, who is accused of killing a work release inmate.

The three were locked down together in a single cell around 2 a.m. Saturday when one started screaming, saying another of them was very sick, Abate said. The jailer looked through a porthole, saw someone vomiting, then opened the cell door.

When he did, the inmates jumped the jailer, stole his keys and cellphone, and fled on foot, according to Abate.

Local authorities using tracking dogs tracked the escaped inmates about a quarter of a mile down state Highway 17 in Butler, Alabama, where Abate said they were either picked up or had a vehicle waiting for them.

Alabama’s State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service in Mobile and local authorities all have roles in the manhunt.

Abate said the jailer, who was choked, was treated and released at an area hospital Saturday morning.

Choctaw County, with population of fewer than 14,000, is on the western edge of Alabama, about 100 miles north of Mobile.

CNN’s Carma Hassan and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

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