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Sunday February 14th, 2016 7:45AM

Two deputies fired after inmate escape investigation

By Staff
GAINESVILLE - As a result of an internal investigation into the recent escape of a Hall County inmate outside of the Hall County Courthouse, two deputies involved in that transport detail have lost their jobs.

According to press release from the Sheriff's office, James Edward Cantrell escaped custody on July 16, after two Deputies did not head count after the prisoners were loaded into a transport vehicle. The Deputies did not have the inmates in an orderly fashion, nor were they in the correct placement for monitoring the inmates. Cantrell was able to slip out of line and conceal himself.

Cantrell had also complained of a knee injury and was not in the proper leg restraints or handcuffed behind his back.

Once at the jail, the Deputies performed another headcount but failed to immediately act upon the discrepancy, creating over an hour delay in discovering the escape.

The deputies assigned to transport detail, Deputy Larry Henslee and Deputy Jack Dodd, were terminated from their posts following the investigation.

"The Sheriff's Office has long standing procedures in place to prevent such incidents. Events like this are inexcusable and this is a prime example of why procedures must be followed," said Sheriff Gerald Couch.

"Unfortunately, human error allowed this escape to occur and not be discovered in a timely fashion. The bottom line is there was a failure to perform basic, frontline duties resulting in a very serious situation and I will not tolerate it. We will be reviewing our policies and procedures as well as conducting further training to ensure no further incidents occur."

Cantrell was arrested without incident on Monday in Tucker, Ga.
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