Inmates use hammer to escape from Tuscumbia City Jail

Two Tuscumbia inmates use a hammer to escape the city jail.

Posted: May 2, 2018 4:38 PM
Updated: May 2, 2018 5:30 PM

Tuscumbia police told WAAY 31 two inmates that escaped from their jail Tuesday evening used a hammer to do it.

Brandon Hale and Justin Whitman both escaped from the Tuscumbia City Jail around 5 p.m. Tuesday. Hale was in jail for stealing credit cards and Whitman was in jail for missing his court date and possession of marijuana. Colbert County deputies arrested Hale around 11:30 Tuesday night; he's now charged with felony escape and criminal mischief. Whitman is still on the loose.

"We've lived here for six years and this is the first that I've heard of any inmates escaping from that jail," said Jeffrey Spice, who lives in Tuscumbia.

The Tuscumbia City Jail is located in the police department and can hold about 32 people. Officials said a room near the jail entrance is under construction and they believe the inmates swiped a hammer while on their way to the exercise yard.

"We do let our inmates out to get fresh air. We're almost 100% sure once that happened, the hammer was outside with some of our tools and they carried it in with them," said Tuscumbia Police Captain, Stuart Setliff.

Setliff said the inmates then used the hammer to make a hole in the roof of the jail, crawled out onto the roof and escaped. The hole has now been patched up, and they are searching for Whitman.

"We're following up on every lead that we have right now trying to figure out where he is at," said Setliff.

Setliff said they plan on changing the position of their security cameras inside the jail, so there are not blind spots. They will also be and doing more jail checks to make sure this doesn't happen again.

If you have any information on the location of Justin Whitman please call the Tuscumbia Police Department at 256-383-3121.

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