DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) —
Jimmy Causey, the inmate who escaped this week from a state-run maximum security prison in Dorchester County, has been captured.
Officials with the SC Department of Corrections, announced his capture around 5 a.m. Friday. They said he was apprehended Friday morning at 3:05 a.m. by Texas Department of Public Safety. Jail records indicate he was booked into the Williamsburg County Jail Friday morning after being arrested by Texas Rangers.
Causey, 46, was reported missing Wednesday from Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville.
He was taken into custody in a motel outside of Austin after SLED contacted the Texas Rangers and notified them Causey was in the area.
“This was just good, old-fashioned law enforcement,” said Chief of SLED Mark Keel.
Texas Rangers raided the motel room where Causey was sleeping, and he was taken into custody “with no resistance,” Keel said. In the room, Texas Rangers found a semi-automatic pistol, a pump-action shotgun, $47,650 in cash and several cell phones.
How did he get out?
South Carolina Department of Corrections director Bryan Stirling said cell phones, tools, a make-shift dummy were used. Stirling said it’s also believed a drone was used to get some of the items Causey needed for his escape plan into his hands.
Stirling said Causey made a dummy in his cell, and it was quite some time before it was noticed he was missing. The actions of guards working in the dorm where Causey escaped are now being reviewed as Stirling admitted following policy and a proper head count may have prevented the lapse of time between the convict’s escape and the time guards realized he was gone.
Causey escaped on July 4 and it was verified at around 2 p.m. on July 5 that he was gone.
“He used a makeshift dummy to fake out the staff that he was dead,” Stirling said.
Then, Stirling said Causey used tools to dig and cut. He said it’s known he used wire cutters to get through a fence.
“We believe a drone was used to fly in the tools,” Stirling said.
Stirling and Keel both used spoke about how Causey obviously had help along the way. It’s possible he had help from other inmates and members in the community. Those responsible will be held accountable, Keel said.
The ability of inmates to obtain and use cell phones in local jails and prisons is a growing problem, according to Stirling and Keel. That problem has evolved with drone technology and drones that are able to fly over golf netting installed at South Carolina prisons to prevent “throw-overs.”
Both men called on action from the federal government, specifically the FCC.
“It is senseless to me that federal government continues to keep state agencies from blocking cell phones,” Chief Keel said.
As long as cell phones continue to go unblocked, both men say local law enforcement agencies will continue to see very well-planned escapes.
Causey was in prison at Lieber after a judge in 2004 gave him five life sentences for holding Columbia-area attorney Jack Swerling and his family hostage at gunpoint in their home in 2002. Causey’s life sentences were for three kidnapping charges, plus an armed robbery and first degree burglary charge.
He has a lengthy criminal history, rivaled closely by his record of misbehavior in prison. He has also escaped a maximum security South Carolina prison once before.
This is a developing story and will be updated.