4 Ohio Inmates Escaped by Stealing a Guard's Car. They're All Back in Custody Now.

It's the jail's third escape since August.
September 30, 2019, 3:10pm
This combination of undated images provided by the Gallia County Sheriff's Office shows from left to right, Brynn Martin, Christopher Clemente, Troy McDaniel Jr. and Lawrence Lee III.

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UPDATE 2:11 p.m. ET: Lawrence R. Lee III, the final escaped inmate, was arrested in Durham, North Carolina Monday, according to the Gallia County Sheriff's Office. The headline of this story has been updated.

Four inmates at a rural Ohio county jail managed to overpower two correctional officers, bust a secured door, and steal a car to break out just after midnight Sunday.

Over the next six hours, Brynn Martin, Christopher Clemente, Troy McDaniel Jr., and Lawrence Lee III raced through Appalachia to end up near a Red Roof Inn in Cary, North Carolina. They also had help from someone outside the jail who offered them a separate getaway car so they could ditch the correctional officer’s vehicle they'd stolen initially.

But by Monday, local police officers in North Carolina had re-arrested three of the four inmates. Only Lee, 29, remains at large.

The two correctional officers at the jail the four men overpowered were not seriously injured despite being threatened with a homemade shank. The inmates escaped after gaining access to the jail’s administrative wing, where they stole car keys. They then drove about a block away to meet their getaway car, Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin said in a press conference Sunday.

The jail, a small, 50-year-old facility with 22 beds and nine full-time officers, is no stranger to escapes. This weekend’s escape was the third at the jail since August, according to NBC News. And Martin had escaped once already this month.

Police described all four inmates as being “extremely dangerous,” but three of the four men were in Ohio’s Gallia County jail for non-violent offenses. Martin, 40, was being held on breaking and entering charges and charges of receiving stolen property. Clemente was in jail on charges of indictment for two counts of complicity in drug trafficking. McDaniel was being held for failing to show up to a local juvenile court date for non-support of dependents.

Lee was being held on charges of identity fraud and assault.

The three captured men are now awaiting extradition back to Ohio, and local and federal police have offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to Lee’s arrest. They described him as a thin white male with short dark hair, facial hair, and a tattoo sleeve on his right arm.

Cover image: This combination of undated images provided by the Gallia County Sheriff's Office shows from left to right, Brynn Martin, Christopher Clemente, Troy McDaniel Jr. and Lawrence Lee III. (Gallia County Sheriff's Office via AP)