NEW DETAILS: Sheriff describes inmate capture
SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — A man who escaped from jail last week by posing as his brother is back behind bars.
Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies say they found William Earl Hewett inside a small camper in the woods behind his mother’s house on Trails End Road in Southport. Offers executed a search warrant at around sunrise.
In a news conference, Ingram described the area as the family’s compound, saying the camper was in an area on the property that was was thick and grown up with weeds and brush. When Hewett was located, Ingram said he was with a pit bull in the camper and was arrested without struggle.
Deputies also arrested several relatives; the arrests include Hewett’s mother, stepfather, cousin, aunt and girlfriend. Ingram said they’re facing charges of aiding and harboring a fugitive.
Hewett is now back in jail in isolation under at $3 million bond.
“I can assure you he will never escape again,” Ingram said.
At the news conference, Ingram said they believed Hewett was at the camper for at least two days. He said they had previously gone to the location to speak with family members about Hewett’s whereabouts, but they did not have a search warrant to be able to search the entire compound. Deputies say they also found an “altar” building and dozens of neglected animals behind the home. Ingram said the animals include several dogs and a horse.
Ingram said last week Hewett escaped by taking the identification arm band of his brother Curtis, who was also in jail and set to bond out. The sheriff said other protocols failed. He suspended and then fired a jailer who was on duty and handling releases Thursday afternoon.
Ingram said he anticipates further disciplinary action against employees of the sheriff’s office.
“It’s extremely difficult to defeat an iris scanner,” Ingram said. “As long as all these systems are followed, we won’t have an escape. I can assure you he won’t escape again.”
About 25 members of various law enforcement offices assisted with the arrest this morning.