UPDATE: Chatham County Sheriff Roy Harris told News 3 he is leaning toward calling an inmate’s escape an “inside job”.
Harris says the newly formed Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division is looking into the possibility a deputy was involved in James Buchans attempted escape.
The Sheriff did tell News 3 another inmate distracted a guard to allow Buchans to walk off his job cleaning the Jail Visitor’s Center and into a waiting car driven by Jennifer Smith Rowland.
After about 10 hours of investigation and searching, Sheriff’s along with help from CNT, tracked them to a trailer park off Highway 204. Buchans tried to run, even jumping in a lake to get away, but was quickly arrested.
Both Buchans and Rowland were arrested and charged.
Sheriff’s say Buchans was a “non-violent offender”, and not a threat to the public. But they are looking into the policies and procedures for all work programs in the future to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Investigators should have more on how the escape happened and who was involved in the next few days.
An inmate who walked out the Chatham County Jail Wednesday night has been found, and the woman who allegedly helped him has been arrested.
Deputies say James Buchans, a non-violent offender, was working in the visitor center when he walked out the back door and into a pickup truck driven by Jennifer Smith Rowland.
The Sheriff’s Office, along with US Marshals and CNT began a search for the escaped inmate and his accomplice.
Information led the agencies to find Buchans around 10am Thursday morning and take him back into custody. Rowland was also arrested.
News 3 will continue to follow this story and have more.