Local News

Six caught in third inmate escape in Edgecombe

Posted August 24, 2009

— Six juvenile inmates were recaptured early Monday after making the third successful escape from a detention facility in Edgecombe County this year.

Sheriff James Knight said the inmates, all aged 16 and 17, overpowered two guards to escape from the Edgecombe County Detention Center Annex, 301 Saint Andrews St., around 11:30 p.m. Sunday. They pinned one guard against the bars of their cell and took his keys, the sheriff said.

Five of the inmates were recaptured within an hour, and the sixth was caught shortly before 4 a.m., Knight said. They were placed in the Edgecombe County Detention Center on Anaconda Street, about 4 miles from the annex.

The guards suffered minor injuries and were expected to be OK.

The identity of the escapees hasn't been released.

The annex, which is in the county courthouse, houses suspects between the ages of 15 and 21. It can hold up to 95 inmates, while the detention center can house up to 255 inmates.

Knight said escapes from both facilities during one week in April led to security upgrades at the detention center, including additional barbed wire, cameras and alarms. The sheriff's office has been studying making upgrades at the annex, as well, he said.

On April 18, Chamone Coy Diggins, 17, overpowered a guard to escape from the annex. Diggins was recaptured about a day later in Farmville, about 25 miles away.

Two days before Diggins' escape, three inmates – David Lee Cox, 29, of Fayetteville; Anthony Artrip, 37, of Ashland, Ky.; and James Butler, 38, of Raleigh – escaped from the detention center. They, too, were recaptured about a day later after a bank robbery in Marmet, W. Va.

A federal indictment for Butler says the three pried up iron rods bolting down a bunk bed and then used the bed to break open a fire door. Once outside, they used the bed as a ladder to climb the fence and covered the razor wire with the mattress.

The sheriff's office opened internal investigations into both escapes.


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  • Tired of thoughtlessness Aug 24, 2009

    Why havent they been locked up in a prison with tighter security?

  • ppoman Aug 24, 2009

    What they have not said that one of the juveniles that escaped previously in April, escaped again last night (Shamone Diggens. Sheriff Knight, it's time to make some changes in your jail; starting with some top brass!

  • james27613 Aug 24, 2009

    Will they get probation and early release ?

  • james27613 Aug 24, 2009

    If you escape you should be shot dead on sight.

    Put a collar on the inmate, tell them that another prisoner
    has an identical matching collar.

    If an inmate escapes or leave the zone of safety,

    BOTH of the collars in the inmates neck will EXPLODE.

    Since nobody can know who is 'matched or married' to another inmate, the other inmates will never let you escape,
    you could be the one to have his head blown off.

  • lkanzig Aug 24, 2009

    gee does any one see a problem here??
    3rd escape this year from this place?

  • Sessy V--V Aug 24, 2009

    " Six juvenile inmates were recaptured early Monday after making the third successful escape from a detention facility in Edgecombe County this year "

    is that because the state is laying off employees? I had seen a story on WRAL about cutting nearly 1,000 positions from state corrections

  • Professor Aug 24, 2009

    Add ten years to their time and hard labor.

  • thrasher3 Aug 24, 2009

    ACTUALLY, , CP IS an option... Its called a "Safe-Keeping Order" where if you have a high risk inmate you can send them there to be held in a more secure enviroment. BUT, try sending them to Sampson County... I PROMISE they wont get out of that detention Center.... Once you go in you dont see grass and there is no such thing as "keys" just one person that electronically controls ALL doors....

  • time4real Aug 24, 2009

    everything NC has to do with Perdue at the moment. Nice try!

  • starshield Aug 24, 2009

    Do you feel safe in Edgecombe Co? Serial killers, escapes every other month. Some serious changes need to happen here.