Search for escaped Jackson County inmate continues; 1 arrested

Jericho Tidwell

Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputies continue to search for escaped inmate Jericho Tidwell.

Posted: Dec 5, 2019 5:09 PM

Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputies continue to search for escaped inmate Jericho Tidwell.

They came close to catching him when he was found in a home on Vann Street. He got away from deputies, who say Tidwell was last seen wearing gray shorts, a black cut off and a red hoodie.

Deputies did catch Richard Hill, 43, from Scottsboro and charge him with possession of a synthetic narcotic and obstruction for hindering the apprehension of an escapee. He was booked in the Jackson County Jail about 4 a.m. Thursday. He's being held on a $5,300 bond.

Hill owns the Vann Street home where Tidwell was spotted, deputies said.

Jericho Tidwell escaped from a work release detail at Stevenson Park about 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the sheriff’s office. 

Tidwell is a white, male, 5'10" tall, approximately 150 pounds with brown shaved hair, hazel eyes and numerous tattoos, including visible tattoos on his neck. He is in jail for a probation revocation and had been working this detail for several weeks, the department said.

Tidwell is not believed to be armed, but authorities warn people to use caution if they see him.

Neighbors are worried.

"I'd seen a lot of cops up and down the road," said one resident who asked us not to show her on camera because she fears for her safety.

She says early Thursday morning she saw police lights on her street and worried it was Tidwell.

"I did do a little check around the house...Checked the playhouse out back"

By the time she saw those lights Tidwell was back on the run and the owner of the Vann street home was in custody facing charges of hindering Tidwell's recapture

Less than 12 hours before, Tidwell escaped while installing Christmas lights during a work detail program at Stevenson Park. Deputies say he said he had to go to the bathroom and never came back.

Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen told me in his decade working with the sheriff's office this has happened 3 times. We asked him what changes are coming to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"If you're on probation and you're on revocation then you will not be allowed to leave the jail and work," said Harnen.

That's exactly why Tidwell was in jail he violated his parole. He says the new policy is subject to change. But, now, inmates like Tidwell won't qualify for work detail.

In the meantime people who live on Vann Street say they're staying on guard. If you have any information you're asked to contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 256-574-2610.

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