Inmate escapes county work crew

Published 5:00 am Monday, July 19, 2004

A Lawrence County inmate is still at large after escaping from awork crew Friday afternoon near the Lincoln-Lawrence countyline.

Kenneth Eley, of 1523 Nola Rd., Monticello, a trusty of theLawrence County Jail, was reported missing while on a work crewFriday, according to Lawrence County Undersheriff WillieWallace.

Wallace said the work crew broke for lunch after picking uptrash alongside Nell-Lambert Road near the Lincoln County line.Wallace said Eley had been sitting on a five-gallon bucket near theroad. When the crew got up to return to work, Eley reportedlyentered the woods and wasn’t seen again.

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“We brought the dog out and tracked him through the woods to thenext road, and that’s where we lost him,” said Wallace, adding thathe was probably picked up by someone who had planned to aid hisescape.

Wallace said Eley was in jail for the sale of crack cocaine, anon-violent charge. “He is at large and is not considereddangerous,” he said.

Wallace said that Eley now faces an escape charge, too.

Wallace said added precautions are being taken to ensure such anincident would not happen again with work crews.

Eley, age 34 is described as a 5’7″ tall black male. He weighs165 pounds and is medium-built. Anyone with information on Eley’swhereabouts are asked to call 911 or the Lawrence County Sheriff’sOffice at 587-2961.

“We would like to have him back. You don’t just walk off a workcrew,” said Wallace.