UPDATE | Last of four Gallia County escapees captured in North Carolina

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GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) — UPDATE 9/30/19 @ 1:53 p.m.
The last of four inmates who escaped from the Gallia County Jail is back in custody.

Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin announced the capture of Lawrence Lee III Monday afternoon. Law enforcement arrested him in Durham, North Carolina.

Lee III and three others escaped early Sunday morning. Sheriff Champlin says the inmates overpowered a female corrections officer and stole her keys. They used those keys to leave the building and take the correction officer's car to Gallipolis City Park where another car was waiting for them.

Authorities arrested Brynn Martin, Christopher Clemente, and Troy McDaniel, Jr. around 2 a.m. Monday in Cary, North Carolina.

Champlin said a multi-agency response team led to the arrests, “I would like to thank the hard working law enforcement professionals who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to providing an end to the search for these escapees. Additionally, I want to thank everyone who has shown support for my office and our law enforcement across this great nation. Everyday, our jobs become tougher and more dangerous. My staff and I appreciate your continued prayers and support as we continue to work hard for you every day.”

UPDATE 9/30/19 @ 5:20 a.m.
Three of the four inmates who escaped from the Gallia County Jail were arrested early Monday morning.

According to Sheriff Matt Champlin, the three were taken into custody at 2 a.m. in Cary, North Carolina.

Brynn Martin, Christopher Clemente, and Troy McDaniel, Jr., were apprehended by law enforcement, while the fourth inmate, Lawrence Lee III, was able to get away from officers.

Sheriff Champlin said a multi-agency response team led to the arrests.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/29/19 @ 10:10 p.m.
New information has been released after Gallia County deputies say four inmates escaped from the Gallia County Jail early Sunday morning.

Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin says the four escaped inmates from Gallia County Jail overpowered a female corrections officer and stole her keys. They used those keys to leave the building and take the correction officer's car to Gallipolis City Park where another car was waiting for them.

That vehicle was spotted in Pennsylvania where police are now searching for the escaped inmates, Sheriff Champlin said.

No correction officers were seriously injured in the escape.

The two male corrections officers that were scheduled to work on Saturday night called off sick, Sheriff Champlin said. That led to the female correction officers staffing the male section of the jail.

"After taking office, I quickly realized that our jail is outdated and insufficient to meet the needs and the numbers of criminals and the types of criminals that we are currently housing," Sheriff Champlin said.

Some community members say they were not surprised when hearing the news.

"It's just sad, it's very sad that this is a continuing thing," said Traci Pethtel who lives in Gallia County. "It's just not a good thing to wake up to--you never know when someone is desperate, what they're capable of doing."

"I thought oh my gosh, not again, you know it's very scary" said community member, Sherry Russell. "Everybody was posting 'oh we're locking our doors, are they breaking into houses or stealing cars? What are they doing?' It's a huge safety concern for the area."

The two correction officers were not injured.

The inmates who escaped are identified as:

- Brynn K. Martin, age 40, who is 5’7” tall and weighs approximately 170 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes. He was charged with breaking and entering, receiving stolen property, two counts of failure to appear and escape.

- Christopher M. Clemente, age 24, who is 6’1” tall and weighs approximately 165 pounds, has brown hair and hazel eyes. He was indicted for complicity to trafficking in drugs.

- Troy R. McDaniel Jr., age 30, who is 5’11” tall and weighs approximately 157 pounds, has blonde hair and blue eyes. He was charged with failure to appear from Gallia County Juvenile Court for non-support of dependents.

- Lawrence R. Lee III, age 29, who is 5’9” tall and weighs approximately 187 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. He was charged with identity fraud, obstructing official business and assault.

Champlin says that one or more of the escapees is still operating a 2019 Dodge Charger, Gray in color which has Ohio Registration HVP8419 and is registered to Christopher M. Clemente.


UPDATE 9/29/19 @ 4:20 p.m.
Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin says the four escaped inmates from Gallia County Jail overpowered a female corrections officer and stole her keys. They used those keys to leave the building and take the correction officer's car to Gallipolis City Park where another car was waiting for them.

That vehicle was spotted in Pennsylvania where police are now searching for the escaped inmates, Sheriff Champlin said.

No correction officers were seriously injured in the escape.

The two male corrections officers that were scheduled to work on Saturday night called off sick, Sheriff Champlin said. That led to the female correction officers staffing the male section of the jail.

"After taking office, I quickly realized that our jail is outdated and insufficient to meet the needs and the numbers of criminals and the types of criminals that we are currently housing," Sheriff Champlin said.

Some community members say they were not surprised when hearing the news.

"It's just sad, it's very sad that this is a continuing thing," said Traci Pethtel who lives in Gallia County. "It's just not a good thing to wake up to--you never know when someone is desperate, what they're capable of doing."

"I thought oh my gosh, not again, you know it's very scary" said community member, Sherry Russell. "Everybody was posting 'oh we're locking our doors, are they breaking into houses or stealing cars? What are they doing?' It's a huge safety concern for the area."

The two correction officers were not injured.

Keeping checking the WSAZ app for further updates.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/29/19
Four inmates at the Gallia County Jail have escaped after allegedly overpowering two female guards early Sunday morning.

Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin says the men used a homemade weapon in their escape and likely had help from the outside.

The inmates who escaped are identified as:

- Brynn K. Martin, age 40, who is 5’7” tall and weighs approximately 170 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes.

- Christopher M. Clemente, age 24, who is 6’1” tall and weighs approximately 165 pounds, has brown hair and hazel eyes.

- Troy R. McDaniel Jr., age 30, who is 5’11” tall and weighs approximately 157 pounds, has blonde hair and blue eyes.

- Lawrence R. Lee III, age 29, who is 5’9” tall and weighs approximately 187 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes.

He says all four should be considered extremely dangerous.

This is the third escape at the jail since August.