Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Valdosta Escapee Captured

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Valdosta Escapee Captured

Article excerpt

VALDOSTA -- James Eldridge Scott's daring escape from jail in

Valdosta and his 3,000-mile, cross-country trek to California

was an action-adventure yarn that could have come straight out

of a Hollywood movie.

Except for the snoozer of an ending.

Scott was taken into custody while he slept last weekend in a

Sacramento apartment after a tipster told authorities the

Georgia convict had regaled a group of card players with tales

of his escape last month from the Lowndes County jail. He

remained in a California jail yesterday awaiting a hearing on

his extradition to Georgia, Sacramento Police Sgt. Paul Tassone

said.

"Loose lips will get you every time," a triumphant Lowndes

County Sheriff Ashley Paulk said.

Scott, 20, and Billy Tyrone Williams, 21, of Valdosta threw a

blanket over a razor wire fence and jumped over it on Jan. 16

after sneaking out of the county jail through an unlocked cell

door.

Williams was captured a little more than a day after the

escape, but Scott remained at large.

It was the first escape at the jail in five years but was

followed by a second breakout a little more than a week ago in

which three inmates were captured following a chase involving

Paulk, other deputies and state troopers.

In that incident, the three inmates overpowered a guard before

breaking out of the jail, then eluded deputies for the next 21

hours as they fled toward Florida. They were arrested when state

troopers shot out the tire of a Toyota sport-utility truck

stolen in south Lowndes County's Twin Lakes community.

The escapes have prompted security and personnel changes at the

jail.

Paulk said yesterday Capt. Leroy Smith has asked to be

voluntarily relieved of his duties as overseer of the county

jail. A jail administrator with a salary of $35,000 to $40,000

will be hired within the next 30 days, Paulk said. …

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