Local News

Accused Murderer Back In Custody After Lee County Jailbreak

Posted January 31, 2004

— Five inmates who broke out of the Lee County Jail Friday night all are back in custody.

The last of the five to be captured, Sammy Hart, was apprehended Saturday night at a Wal-Mart in Sanford.

The escapes happened around 10:30 Friday night. According to investigators, one of the inmates used a card to keep his cell door from locking and attacked a guard making his rounds.

The fugitives beat up three guards in all, beating one unconscious.

Hart was awaiting trial on murder charges. The victim's family was outraged about his escape, claiming he should not have been in a minimum security facility to begin with.

J.R. and Hope Lockamy still are waiting for justice in their daughter's death. They said Saturday they were appalled her accused killer got out, because it was not the first time he had tried.

"She was the joy of our life," Hope Lockamy said of her daughter, Jamie, "our sunshine."

Hart is charged with killing Jamie Smith a little more than a year ago.

"It was the toughest thing I've ever been through," J.R. Lockamy said.

Smith was 26 and married just eight months when she was killed. She was shot early New Years Day 2003 as she smoked a cigarette on her front porch.

Investigators said the killing appeared to be random.

The Lockamys called Hart's escape Friday another chapter in an endless nightmare.

"It makes me sick," J.R. said. "She (Smith) is gone forever. We'll never see her again here on Earth, and this guy gets out."

Before Hart's capture Saturday night, Hope Lockamy said her greatest fear was that he would kill or hurt somebody else while on the run.

Hart tried to escape from the Lee County Jail a few months ago but was caught in the act. The Lockamys said they were told after that attempt that Hart would be watched very closely.

"He was to be watched 24 hours a day," Hope said.

Said J.R.: "How they could let him escape, I don't know."

The Lockamys said they have asked several times to have Hart transferred to Central Prison for safety. They said they will fight to make sure he can't get out again.

"How are you supposed to feel when the person that was charged with the death of your child is out?" Hope said. "I mean, how scary is that?"

Officals said they probably would transfer Hart to Central Prison after capturing him Saturday.

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