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Escaped Chatham County Inmate Surrenders

Posted April 4, 2008

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— A Chatham County inmate who escaped two months ago turned himself in Friday morning.

Stewart Wendell Baldwin, 30, surrendered at a store on Hatch Road, just outside Carrboro, at 5:30 a.m.

A WRAL photographer was there as authorities handcuffed him and took him to the Orange County Jail.

Baldwin was being held for felonious drug charges and possession of a firearm by a felon when he escaped from a Pittsboro detention facility, along with four other inmates, on Feb. 4.

Four of the men were recaptured within hours.

The men overpowered a detention officer, grabbed his keys and radio, changed clothes, left through a side door and used a coat to scale a fence topped with razor wire, authorities said.

The Chatham County Sheriff's Office conducted an internal review of the incident and determined that procedures in place to prevent such escapes weren't followed, and the senior detention officer on duty the night of the jailbreak was fired, Sheriff Richard Webster said in a statement.

"Failure to follow these procedures and policy was the ultimate reason for this incident. Other issues that were indirectly related were shortages in staff, technology upgrades and the need for an up-to-date facility," Webster said. "Correcting any of these issues would dramatically supplement the security level of the facility. I will continue to address them as budgetary issues."

12 Comments

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  • Common Sense Man Apr 4, 2008

    "Orange County obviously needs a new sheriff just like Chatham County needs a new sheriff. Voting time is coming up."

    Now I don't disagree with that, but this isn't the Sheriff's fault. This guy wasn't even calling some of his family members. He laid low the entire time.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Apr 4, 2008

    Orange County obviously needs a new sheriff just like Chatham County needs a new sheriff. Voting time is coming up.

  • Common Sense Man Apr 4, 2008

    "WOW!!!!!!! I'm glad that Stewart turned himself in but this goes dpwn in the books of dumb criminals. You've been out htis ling and still in the same neighborhood you lived in...not Mexico...WOW!!!!"

    I wouldn't call it dumb. He probably wasn't enjoying his freedom that much. He couldn't ever go out, always looking over his shoulder; not exactly paradise.

  • NCGal Apr 4, 2008

    0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner,

    EXACTLY!

  • luvmeneday Apr 4, 2008

    What is Rationalthinking talking about? I agree with you; dataclerk

  • 0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner Apr 4, 2008

    I just think it's pathetic that he has been home this entire time and Orange County sheriff couldn't find him. Or the better questin is where they even trying to find him?

  • Dr. Dataclerk Apr 4, 2008

    Rationalthinking: You are not thinking. You are not even on the subject at hand, just a lot of no-nonsense blabbering. lol Either stay on the subject or stay off this board. Just a reminder: We are discussing an escape prisoner who turned himself in. Remember: Stay off the board if you cannot stay on
    the subject in question. Thanks.

    WRAL if it is not pertaining to the subject, please don't bring it public on the board. Thanks.

  • wakemom Apr 4, 2008

    dataclerk, i agree.

    and why go to Mexico when they cant even find you in your own neighborhood? lol

  • NCGal Apr 4, 2008

    "WOW!!!!!!! I'm glad that Stewart turned himself in but this goes dpwn in the books of dumb criminals. You've been out htis ling and still in the same neighborhood you lived in...not Mexico...WOW!!!!"

    How is this dumb? He surrendered; they didn't catch him.

    Sounds pretty smart to me. lol

  • 0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner Apr 4, 2008

    WOW!!!!!!! I'm glad that Stewart turned himself in but this goes dpwn in the books of dumb criminals. You've been out htis ling and still in the same neighborhood you lived in...not Mexico...WOW!!!!

    And Rational Thinking,
    What in the world are you talking about????

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