UPDATE: Sheriff suspends jailer day after inmate escape
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County Jail inmate has been charged with allegedly helping his brother escape from jail yesterday afternoon.
Warrants show Curtis Wayne Hewett (right) is charged with escape from a county or municipal facility for allegedly aiding and abetting the escape of William Earl Hewett (left) Thursday around 4 p.m. Deputies have been searching for William Hewett ever since.
Sheriff John Ingram described what happened.
“They were able to make his brother’s bond, they switched armbands and he presented himself to be his brother,” Ingram said.
Sheriff said that process should not be easy and now the sheriff’s office is also investigating their own protocols.
“Inevitably, there can be failures in the system” Ingram said. “We have a solid system that I would put up against anyone’s in the state.”
Ingram said after a similar escape three years ago, the sheriff’s office added several steps to their checks and balances. That system includes scanning an inmate’s eyes, writing their social security number down and a picture placed on the arm bracelet.
“Obviously, in this situation, someone did not do their job and they will be held accountable for it,” Ingram said.
Friday the sheriff suspended Cpl. Ashley Harrell, a jailer. She’s worked for the sheriff’s office since February of last year.
Investigators say William Hewett is a validated member of the Folk Nation gang. He is a white male, 5’7″, 140 lbs., brown hair, blue eyes. He has a teardrop tattoo under his right eye, KATHY tattooed on his left hand and WILL on his right upper arm. Deputies say use caution if you come in contact with him.
We went to Hewett’s family’s neighborhood in Southport Friday night. Residents and people we spoke with said they were too afraid to talk to us on camera.
Investigators say if you see anyone or anything suspicious to call 911.
William Hewett was in jail on charged including kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, flee to elude arrest, possession of a stolen vehicle and several counts of failure to appear in court. Curtis Hewett was in jail charged with assault on a female.
The sheriff’s office is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to Hewett’s arrest.