Arson suspect: "I walked out of jail..." - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Arson suspect: "I walked out of jail..."

Patrick Burwell Patrick Burwell
Turner County Sheriff Randy Kendrick Turner County Sheriff Randy Kendrick
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September 3, 2003

Ashburn-- A suspected arsonist is back in jail after escaping from jail nearly a month ago.

Twenty-nine-year-old Patrick Burwell as he was brought back to the Turner County Jail Wednesday afternoon. He was caught in Early County.

When asked if he was guilty of burning down his home in June. Burwell instead told us how he got out of jail August 6th.

"If it's escape I walked out," he said.

Are you saying you walked out of the jail? "Yes."

How? "Like I'm walking in," Burwell said.

 "The GBI investigation concluded that between some mechanical problems in the jail and some carelessness at the jail, he did walk out," said Turner County Sheriff Randy Kendrick. "We've took measures to correct that and we hope they won't happen again."

Sheriff Kendrick says the outdated equipment has been repaired or replaced. He also says the staff is "tightening up."

Burwell was charged with setting his Ashburn home on fire and trying to make it look like a racial attack. Now he's also charged with felony escape.

Kendrick says it's unlikely the person Burwell was staying with in Early County will be arrested because the person did not know Burwell was a fugitive.

posted at 4:25PM by dave.miller@walb.com