DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — An escaped inmate will be re-booked into the Morgan County Jail after breaking out in the morning hours of Sunday, March 5th, 2023.

A spokesperson for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Mike Swafford, said corrections officers noticed Jeremy Taylor was missing during a headcount.

“We do headcount multiple times a day and that’s what you know, was able to highlight that he was gone,” Swafford said.

“This is not an escape anybody would have saw coming, this is only the second escape in the history of this facility,” he said. The first escape was in 2019.

The Sheriff’s Office said Taylor was able to escape through the window in his cell block.

Swafford told News 19 it is believed that Taylor was able to use the bed in his cell block as leverage to kick through a window that’s “actually built into the building.”

He said jail staff is relocating beds in cell blocks to prevent similar events.

Swafford also told News 19 that the location of the window in the cell played a role.

“With this unique spot, it’s directly out of the line of sight, it has just enough of a blind spot where this individual [Taylor] had time to do what he did,” Swafford said.

Once Taylor made it out of the window and in the jail yard, he then made it over a tall barbed-wire fence.

News 19 was shown on Monday where the escape happened. There was notably a security camera attached to a pole, pointed in the direction of the fence.

A security camera that may have captured the escape.

After spending about 12 hours on Sunday searching for Taylor, he was located in Franklin County, Tennessee. News 19 asked if he was found at a residence or business, and was told he was “in a tent down by the river”.

Swafford said on Monday the Sheriff and others did an inspection of the jail facilities, paying special attention to the windows in the cell blocks.

He said the window that was kicked out had a “uniqueness” to it that Taylor was able to “exploit”.

“We’ve checked the other windows and they don’t have the same vulnerability, so we feel good about those,” Swafford said.

In addition to sweeping for security flaws, the jail is actually in the process of getting additional fencing installed. News 19 was able to see workers installing part of it when we visited the jail on Monday.

Mike Swafford said funding for additional fencing was approved by the County Commission after the previous jailbreak in 2019. Prior to that fence being installed, the windows of several cell blocks were easily accessible by just walking up to the building off of 1st Avenue in Decatur.

Workers working on the installation of an additional section of fencing along the 1st Avenue section of the Morgan County Jail.

“We continue to make upgrades, we continue to make new additions to help make it secure,” Swafford said, “We still believe the Morgan County Jail is secure.”

When Taylor is re-booked, he will have an Escape 2 charge added to the list of charges he is already facing.

According to jail records, Taylor was in the Morgan County jail awaiting trial on the following charges:

  • Unlawful Possession/Receipt of Controlled Substance – Pending
  • Sex Offense-Rape- Domestic Violence – Pending
  • Burglary (B & E Auto) – Pending
  • Burglary (B & E Auto) – Pending
  • Kidnapping-Kidnapping-Adult For Sexual Assault – Pending
  • Sex Offense-Rape- Domestic Violence – Pending
  • Sodomy 1st – Pending
  • Sodomy 1st – Pending
  • Burglary 1st Non-Residence-Force

When Taylor is re-booked following his extradition from the Franklin County (Tennessee) Jail, he will have extra eyes on him.

“He won’t enjoy any of the privileges he may of had when he was here,” Swafford said.