Last month, when, officials said, a deputy in the Kentucky River Regional Jail accidentally dropped a set of keys, four inmates escaped. Three of those four escaped inmates have now been located and brought back into custody, with the latest inmate caught being James Reed, 27, of Hazard.
Jail Administrator Lonnie Brewer said troopers with the Kentucky State Police picked Reed up at approximately 11 p.m. on Aug. 24. Reed, Brewer said, was located in a residence on Joes Lane in Hazard.
Many law enforcement leads regarding Reed’s connections and locations were correct, said Brewer, explaining that Reed claims to have stayed at many different places that were close together, but kept on the move often.
“He (Reed) told me that he did have help. He hit the hills because he kept thinking somebody was after him,” said Brewer. Reed, Brewer continued, said he stayed at family’s house a bit while they were asleep then left before they work up because he was afraid they’d turn him in.
“He says he’s been in the hills,” said Brewer. “He’s lost about 30 pounds and said he was snake bitten at some point during his run.”
Brewer said Reed was examined by a nurse and was cleared, not needing any medical treatment, and is now back in custody at KRRJ.
“He has been seen by a nurse here. Remarkably, he’s in good spirits for somebody who has been out like he says. His finger nails are black, it looks like he has been digging through dirt,” said Brewer. “We’re just glad he’s back in custody and he’s safe.”
Court documents show Reed was found guilty for first-degree possession of a controlled substance, trafficking in marijuana less than eight ounces, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia in June.
In October 2011, he was found guilty of third-degree burglary and first-degree criminal mischief (two counts). He was also recently indicted and charged with second-degree escape and being a persistent felony offender in the second degree.
Brewer said officials have heard rumors that Reed has committed or been involved with other crimes while he was on the run, so other charges may be added on later if proven true.
Reed appeared for arraignment on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Brewer said that now the KRRJ and law enforcement will be able to focus their efforts on apprehending the remaining inmate, Kenneth Spurlock, 29, of Martin.
“I always felt like he (Spurlock) would be the last one we’d catch, just because our resources are here in this county,” said Brewer. “I think that now we can concentrate on getting him.
“I think that if we can get KSP over in Floyd County, we’ll have Spurlock back soon,” said Brewer, stating that they know he is in the Martin area. “He is just staying at his residence.”