Local News

Escaped Inmates Captured in S.C.

Posted December 7, 2007

— Two inmates who left their work assignment at a Northampton County prison farm Wednesday and robbed two hunters were captured in South Carolina early Friday, authorities said.

Cloman Smith, 30, and Jesse McCrobie, 27, left the Odom Prison Farm in Jackson early Wednesday afternoon. Several hours later, two hunters at a Northampton hunting club were robbed.

A Summerville police officer arrested the pair at about 3 a.m. Friday after spotting them in a red and gold, 2005 F-150 pickup truck that had been stolen from the hunters, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Correction.

McCrobie’s grandmother lives in Summerville, and authorities believe he and Smith were trying to see her, Acree said.

Smith and McCrobie were serving sentences at Tillery Correctional Facility, a minimum-security prison in Halifax County, and were assigned to work at the poultry house at the farm.

Smith is serving a 12.5-year sentence as a habitual felon and was set to be released in 2010.

McCrobie is serving a 3-year sentence for a number of crimes, including drug possession, drug sales, felony breaking-and-entering, larceny and driving while impaired. He was set to be released in September 2009.

Authorities said a machete was used to rob the hunters, but it was unclear where it came from.

The two hunters were tied up with duct tape, and their wallets, cell phones, a 9 mm handgun, 7 mm rifle and .223-caliber rifle were stolen along with the truck, authorities said.


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  • newlife805 Dec 8, 2007

    From what I learned working at one of NC's men's prisons, these guys get to feeling quite uncomfortable knowing that they will be out in the "real" world soon. I beleive it is a small percentage of them. They will mess up just so that they can stay. I am glad that no one was hurt. Oh, here's a thought about those hunters. Did anyone ever think that their guns were not loaded yet? Or, that their guns were not where they could get to them without being harmed by one of the escapees?

  • shine Dec 7, 2007

    The poultry houses at Odom are at the back of the property. The two that escaped would have run a mile or more to get to the highway. They probably ran into an ajoining field and happened up on the hunting party. Depending on the time the hunters probably had their firearms secured in the vehicle. For those of you that have no clue..... the last thing you would want is to be caught holding a firearm way after dark as if you had the intentions of killing anything. I wish they could have killed them both and that would be TWO off the taxpayers payroll - and don't think for a minute ---- those prisoners eat better than most of the taxpayers in NC>

  • colliedave Dec 7, 2007

    If there were an island, or a remote region, where a community could be started, with inmates living a more free life, having gardens, a way of making a living and having a sense of self-worth tied to the community, something better once they learn more self-discipline and limits to their behavior.

    What a bunch of liberal drivel? Yes, these guys have self-worth as to feel it's all about them. They were in an HONOR grade camp and they blew all of the rights this camp gave them. One gets to the camp b/c the inmate has given some clue he has the self-discipline to make it in the "outside" world.

    Despite the time spent on the inside these guys simply will don't make it in the outside and need to be sent to a real prison farm: Caledonia Farms. Here they can spend the rest of their lives in hard labor producing food for the NC Correctional System.

  • clemsonalltheway Dec 7, 2007

    In a minimum security facility some of the inmates are allowed to be "honor-grade" and work outside of the gates, drive state-owned vehicles and have a lot of free time. The inmates are checked in/out of the prison gates in the morning, at lunch time and in the evening. That's how they had such a big head start.

    It really doesn't say alot for their reasoning and intelligence....if they had only held on for several more months...they would be home in no time. Go figure.

  • HOMEWRECKER Dec 7, 2007

    Correctional Officers have to make checks on inmates,dorms and cells every so often. what was their supervisor doing that gave them a five hour head start. ?????????? Inmates will get away with what you let them get away with. was it normal not to check on them????

  • Spirit Warrior BallReceptable Dec 7, 2007

    for those of you knuckleheads advocating the death penalty for crimes are less severe than the punishment, if it were simply a matter of "guts", our judicial system would be run by bullies devoid of moral fortitude.

    Enjoy your first amendment rights and express your opinions to spout off, but ethics and critical thinking (which obviously some of you lack severely) needs to, and will continue to have a strong influence upon our judicial process.

    Rest assured, there are smarter Americans than yourselves defining US legal policy.

  • Titus Pullo Dec 7, 2007

    It is a shame that we don't have an isolated place like Australia in the 1700's to send these people forever. Maybe this is how we colonize Mars. Give them a bottle of O2 and a one way ticket.

  • djofraleigh Dec 7, 2007

    I hope, one day, we will provide a different type of jail for those who, like these, might come to be able to live differently, if given less, but enough external controls. If there were an island, or a remote region, where a community could be started, with inmates living a more free life, having gardens, a way of making a living and having a sense of self-worth tied to the community, something better once they learn more self-discipline and limits to their behavior.

  • djofraleigh Dec 7, 2007

    The two desperate men, knowing if caught, they would be doing hard time, for a much longer time, decided NOT to kill the hunters and hide their bodies. They had the means (guns) and a reason (that might have given them the edge in time to get away,) but they didn't. They let the men live, and just took their property with a fright. That goes a long ways with me. They DON'T deserve to DIE, but live - live tied or locked up.

    Their histories, escaping, willing to do what they did with these men, means to me that I don't want them back out in society. They need to stay in jail. OJ is less of a threat to me and mine.

  • Canon36 Dec 7, 2007

    No they don't deserve death since no one was hurt, but definately move them to a harder prison where they can't escape since they want to be so tuff and escape. Add on another 50 to 75 years to the sentence. Ok Maybe they should op for the death sentence.