Updated: Mar 9
UPDATE: At 4:20 this afternoon, March 9, the Stephens County Sheriff's Office released the following press release regarding Sunday's jail escape attempt.
Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley reports an escaped inmate from the Stephens County Jail.
On Sunday March 8 at around 1:30 p.m. an inmate identified as Anthony Christopher Bland age 20 of Eastanollee escaped from the Stephens County Jail. A detailed investigation found that while Bland was being escorted as part of a group for visitation he was able to exit through a door leading to the administration wing of the jail. This was due to a mechanical failure of the locking mechanism on the door. After going through the door Bland fled on foot out the front of the jail with jail staff pursuing and was apprehended after a little more than a minute.
As a result of the investigation the mechanical issue has been repaired and additional measures put in place to prevent any future issues with this and other doors.
Bland has been charged with felony escape and is awaiting a bond hearing on this charge. Bland was previously being held on charges of Felony Theft by Taking and Multiple entering autos.
UPDATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON: I was just advised by SCSO Lieutenant Stephen Stewart that, per instructions from Sheriff Randy Shirley, no official comment or details on this incident will be released until the Sheriff’s Office finishes the investigation. A press release will be issued to all media at that time. Confirmation of the inmate’s trustee status was unavailable, as was the inmate’s name. ConnectLocal will update the story as soon as information becomes available.
ORIGINAL STORY: ConnectLocal.news is on site at the Stephens County Jail where, about an hour ago, an inmate, allegedly a trustee, escaped barefoot out the front doors of the jail and ran into the woods across from the jail. Canine units and the GBI were contacted, but the subject was apprehended within minutes before either could arrive. ConnectLocal is waiting to speak with Sheriff Shirley now and will update this story as more information is available.