Liberty County Jail Blames County for Inmate Escape

Everett Jedadiah Ellis
Posted at 12:00 PM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 08:40:20-04

BRISTOL, FL (WTXL) - The Liberty County Jail houses a few less than 50 inmates but only employs 15 correctional officers, most of them part time.

Because they're so understaffed, they depend on technology to help keep tabs on the inmates.

"The building itself is a two story building. We're supposed to have staff on the second floor but that's where we rely on those cameras because Liberty County is a small county with not a lot of money so we do the best we can with what we have," said Under-Sheriff Brian Langston.

While officials say it's typically quiet around the jail, that changed Sunday night when inmate Jedadiah Ellis escaped. Ellis was captured in Tallahassee on Wednesday.

Officials say he climbed through an air conditioning unit, jumped from a second story building, then sprinted away from the jail.


The Sheriff's Office took WTXL inside the jail, showing us how Ellis escaped and how they say it may have been avoided. (Story Continues Below)


But Deputies say had all of the jail cameras been working this probably wouldn't have happened

"I asked for several months that these cameras be fixed and its a slow process and unfortunately they were too slow and this incident occurred," said Langston.

WTXL-ABC27 obtained a copy of an email thread to County Commissioners from Under-Sheriff Langston asking that the twelve faulty cameras be repaired.

" of this morning there are still 10 cameras in the jail that are not working. It has been explained to me that the person contracted to fix these has not been seen in over 5 weeks," said Langston in the email. "As you are aware this is a serious liability issue and safety issue with our staff.  Please assist us in getting this issue resolved as quickly as possible."

We also reached out to the Commission Chairman Dexter Barber's office and they declined to comment.

In the meantime, The Liberty County Jail says they're taking additional measures to prevent escapes from happening in the future.

"Hopefully no one else is scheming on an escape because we're making corrective actions to alleviate thinking about going that route," said Langston.