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Sampson County Authorities Search For Third Escapee

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CLINTON, N.C. — Authorities have captured two of three escapees after a jail break in Sampson County late Thursday.

Sampson County deputies, the SBI and the state Highway Patrol searched a swampy area about five miles west of Clinton for most of the night.

James Anthony Carr, 18, was apprehended about 4:20 a.m. and returned to jail. He was being held for first-degree burglary and attempted robbery charges before the escape.

Deputies stayed on the scene, and at around 10 a.m., captured Oliver Terrell Owens, age 23.

Owens was found in a mobile home park near the area and taken to the sheriff's office. He was in jail on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping.

Still on the loose is Franklin Elder Jr., 22, who wascharged with first-degree murder, breaking and entering andlarceny. Officials said that he is considered dangerous and has friends and relatives in Sampson and Duplin counties.

The trio got free about 11:30 p.m. Thursday after overpowering a detention officer during a lockdown.

"One of the officers went in last night to lock them down. He was jumped by two individuals that were in the cell, two felons waiting for trial,"said Maj. John Hayes of the Sampson County Sheriff's Office. "They overpowered him, took his keys and exited the cell area. They went across the hall of the cell block and opened up another cell and let another one of their friends out. Those three went downstairs -- this was on the second floor -- and they went downstairs to the first floor."

On the first floor, the three men ran into two female detention officers. Hayes said that the men knocked one officer out and slammed the other against a wall. All three detention officers were transported to a hospital and were later released.

The Sampson County jail is 50 years old and does not have modern jail security.

Hayes said that the men may have had outside help in their escape since they were able to get several miles away from the jail.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sampson County Sheriff's Office at (910) 592-8851.


Tom Lawrence, Reporter
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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