Morgan County investigators foil inmate’s escape plan with just minutes to spare

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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - Only one inmate has ever successfully escaped the Morgan County Jail to date. John Kaleb Gillespie escaped the jail in October and was on the run for several days.

Since then, the sheriff's office and jail staff have amped up their protocol to prevent an escape from happening again.

"We fight every day to keep things out of the jail that aren't supposed to be here and keep those that are supposed to be in jail, here," explained Mike Swafford of the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.

Still, some inmates are bold enough to plot how to smuggle things in, or in Wednesday's case, try to break out.

Jail staff said communication with people on the outside is an important part of the county jail inmates' schedules. Wednesday, investigators used communication records to foil an attempted escape from custody.

Since Gillespie's escape, jail employees monitor conversations between inmates and outside callers more closely. That's how investigators were able to flag a series of things before this most recent scheme.

"We were able to determine this plot roughly ten minutes before it was about to be enacted," Swafford added.

Investigators said an inmate was waiting to be transported to a court hearing. Meanwhile, several others believed to be in on the plan were waiting at the courthouse.

"We're taking time to review who was involved, who could've known, and who could've played a part. That's what our investigative team is doing at this time," said Swafford.

Due to the nature of the investigation, the inmate's identity is not yet being released, but he could face additional charges.

If anyone is believed to have helped him, inmate or not, they could be in trouble as well.

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