5 inmates escape from NC jail by cutting hole in fence; 4 recaptured

NASHVILLE, NC (WITN/Gray News) - Four of five inmates who escaped from a North Carolina detention center have been recaptured, amid a manhunt involving several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, WITN reports.

The five inmates cut a hole in the fence of the Nash County Detention Center’s exercise yard Monday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. and escaped through it, according to Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone.

Stone says the escapees – identified as Raheem Horne, Laquaris Battle, David Viverette, David Ruffin and Keonte Murphy – made their way into a wooded area, where they may have been picked up by an accomplice.

Battle is the only one of the men still at large, according to the sheriff’s office.

Nash County Sheriff’s Office is reporting one of the five inmate escapees is still wanted concerning yesterday’s Nash...

Posted by Nash County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Murphy and Ruffin were captured early Tuesday morning in another county, while Viverette and Horne were captured Monday night in Rocky Mount, NC.

While in the exercise yard, the inmates were monitored by camera, but the sheriff says the camera was pointed in a different direction at the time of the escape. He called this a “blind spot” and said it was possible the escapees knew they would be in it.

The Nash County sheriff says the five inmates escaped while in a camera "blind spot." Those inmates are top, from left to right: David Viverette, David Ruffin and Keonte Murphy and bottom, from left to right: Raheem Horne and Laquaris Battle. (Source: WITN)
The Nash County sheriff says the five inmates escaped while in a camera "blind spot." Those inmates are top, from left to right: David Viverette, David Ruffin and Keonte Murphy and bottom, from left to right: Raheem Horne and Laquaris Battle. (Source: WITN)

"I think there was help on the outside, and they saw a weak spot in our infrastructure and took advantage of it," Stone said.

Stone says they are working diligently to get the final escapee back in custody. Other area law enforcement agencies in addition to the state Highway Patrol, the FBI and the United States Marshals Service are also involved in the search.

A $1,500 reward is being offered for information that leads to finding the remaining inmate.

Nash County Sheriff’s Office is reporting a jail breakout of five inmates which was reported less than hour ago. Local...

Posted by Nash County Sheriff's Office on Monday, March 25, 2019

Horne, 25, was awaiting trial on first degree burglary, common law robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle.

Viverette, 28, was in jail on charges of armed robbery, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, felony larceny and felony breaking and entering.

Ruffin, 30, was in jail for possession of a controlled substance on prison/jail premises, larceny of a motor vehicle, felony larceny and possession of heroin.

Murphy, 23, was in jail on a misdemeanor simple assault charge.

There is no information on what charges Battle, 22, was facing.

The sheriff says his office has a manpower issue, and there is a serious need to upgrade the detention center.

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