A design flaw at the Lauderdale County Detention Center is how escaped inmate got away again

Lauderdale County authorities said an escaped inmate from the county jail is back in custody.

Posted: Dec. 17, 2017 3:43 PM
Updated: Dec. 18, 2017 7:22 PM

Lauderdale County authorities said an escaped inmate from the county jail is back in custody.

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43-year-old Christopher Wayne Kilpatrick escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center late Saturday night. He was captured Monday morning in Tennessee, authorities said.

Lauderdale County Chief Deputy, Richard Richey, told WAAY 31 Kilpatrick was spotted by a Macon County, Tennessee deputy and a short chase followed. Richey said Kilpatrick then ran a redlight and crashed into another car injuring two people. One of the victims is in critical condition. 

"We pray that she will be okay," said Richey. "With him being in custody we hope our citizens can rest a little easier and so can we."

Kilpatrick has waived his rights for extradition and should be back in the Shoals by the end of the week. He will face charges for escaping and stealing a truck. 

This is the second time Kilpatrick has escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center. Officials told WAAY 31 the current jail has a design flaw. Some cells at the jail have a tiny door that leads to piping, officials said Kilpatrick pried that pipe chase door open and escaped onto the roof. 

"He somehow cut the hinge off the door and made entry into it and go out and on the roof," said Richey.

In April, he used the same pipe chase door to escape and was on the run for a little more than a week after escaping from the detention center. At the time, he was in jail on an attempted murder charge. 

The attempted murder charge came from an incident in August 2016, where police said Kilpatrick led officers on a chase in a stolen vehicle and then tried to take a Florence police officer's gun during a struggle. Kilpatrick was shot once in the stomach before he was arrested, police said.

After he escaped in April, authorities said Kilpatrick traveled between Nashville and Birmingham, stealing from vehicles. He was finally arrested in Lauderdale County after an eight-hour standoff.

Lauderdale County officials said building a new jail would cost around $30 million, and it would have to be approved by the Lauderdale County Commission. The sheriff's office has some preliminary jail designs that would be more secure, without the pipe chase doors in the cells. 

"We would love to have a new jail built because we think that would help us security wise," said Richey.

Officials have tried welding the pipe chase doors shut in the past but inmates come up with ways to break them open. When Kilpatrick comes back he will be monitored more closely. 

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