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Work release inmate, two others arrested in Boaz chase, wreck with officers

Jack Button, Morgane Whitt and Maridith Lenham

Multiple police vehicles were hit in the chase.

Posted: Mar 2, 2020 2:23 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2020 3:49 PM

Three suspects are in custody after a police chase that resulted in damage to law enforcement vehicles and a local business.

The chase happened on Sunday around 5:15 p.m. It was initiated by Alabama State Troopers and came north on US-431 from the Attalla area.

Boaz police became involved in the chase near the Mountainboro community. Officers tried to stop the vehicle with spike strips, but it went across the northbound lanes of traffic and continued north, the department says.

Police say speeds reached more than 90 mph. They say the vehicle in the chase forced oncoming vehicles to get off the roadway to avoid head-on collisions.

The chase approached the intersection of US-431 and Sardis Cut-Off Road, where police say they managed to get around the suspect vehicle and try to block it. The department says the vehicle rammed the rear of a Boaz police vehicle and then hit another police vehicle to the left of him.

According to police, the vehicle continued on US-431. It was then hit by a police vehicle at US-431 and Martin Avenue. The suspects’ vehicle hit and went through a nearby business.

Police identified the driver as Jack Button, 26, of Boaz and the passengers as Morgane Whitt, 23, of Gadsden and Maridith Lenham, 22, of Piedmont.

Button was wanted for a felony probation violation from Etowah County. Police say he is currently listed as a work release inmate through the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Button will also be charged with felony assault on a police officer and multiple drug charges. Whitt and Lenham are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police say the three suspects could face more charges as the investigation is still ongoing. They say none of the officers involved had serious injuries.

The Department of Corrections emailed WAAY 31 to say Button was never part of its work release or work center programs. When we told the DOC the information came from Boaz police, a spokesperson once again said Button was never part of its programs and it “...Sent this clarification to the Boaz Police Department as well.” That email came from the DOC at 10:18 p.m. on Thursday. As of 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Boaz police say they haven’t heard anything from the DOC.

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