Escaped Sumter Co. inmate caught

Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT
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AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - An inmate that escaped from the Sumter County Jail has been caught, according to the sheriff’s office.

Charlie Lester was apprehended on Oglethorpe Avenue and Mayo Street, on the north side of Americus. He was caught around 5:15 p.m. inside an abandoned house, the sheriff’s office reported.

The sheriff’s office said Lester escaped on Sunday. He was being held on rape, sodomy, aggravated sodomy, enticing a child for indecent purposes and other sex offenses.

Officials said Lester had help hiding.

"We know it’s a possibility. We’ve arrested two people today (Tuesday),” said Chief Deputy Col. Eric Bryant with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Bryant said Lester will be arraigned on warrants of escape and will be back behind bars in a secure area.

Deputies were assisted by the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and the Americus Police Department.

“The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone for their assistance with this incident,” the agency said in a release.

But how did Lester escape in the first place?

"Based on what we’ve found, and of course we’re still looking into it, it appears that there might have been an area in the visitation fencing that he might have compromised. But there’s so many scenarios, and of course, we have video footage that we’re reviewing because there was multiple fences he had to go through and go over,” said Bryant.

Bryant said it happened during recreational time for inmates.

"Of course we’ve repaired the area in the fence, we’ve added some additional fencing and we have a company coming in to add some additional reinforcement fencing into the areas,” explained Bryant.

WALB is working to learn more about Lester’s apprehension.

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