By Ed Brock
The mother of one of two men who escaped from Clayton County jail has been arrested and charged with aiding in that escape.
Jerry Dale Gilreath, 56, of Preston Drive in Rex was arrested Tuesday around 2:30 p.m. at her home, according to Clayton County Chief Deputy Shelby Foles. Her son, Shawn Stanley Gilreath, 28, and 25-year-old Floyd Wayne Williams escaped from the Harold R. Banke Justice Center on Nov. 18 and were recaptured Friday in Baltimore, Md.
Foles said he could not release information on exactly how Jerry Gilreath helped the two men, both of whom face murder charges in Clayton County, because the investigation is still ongoing. On the night of the escape someone was waiting for the men in a car parked in the jail's visitors' parking lot.
An internal investigation into the escape is also ongoing. Gilreath and Williams were in an exercise yard on the night of the escape and they forced their way through a security screen to get outside and then scaled the perimeter fence.
Now they are in a Baltimore County jail awaiting extradition and also facing charges there in connection with the bank robbery that led to their capture. On that day an asset protection specialist for Target began videotaping the men because they were acting suspicious in a parking lot, Baltimore County Police Department spokesman Bill Toohey said. The Target employee notified police after video taping them going into the bank and switching cars before driving away,
A heavy police presence in the area that was due to a visit by President Bush and a snowstorm aided in the arrest of the two men, Toohey said. At the time of their arrest Gilreath and Williams had two handguns each in shoulder holsters on their persons and other weapons in the van they were driving, all of which had been recently stolen from a Virginia sporting goods store.
Williams, from Union City, has been charged with murder in the shooting death of 16-month-old Jose Arias and 48-year-old Alejandro Gutierrez in October 2001. He is also the half-brother of Michael Hutson, 30, who was arrested along with another man in April of the same year in connection with a home invasion at the same home and during which the robbers held a gun to Arias' head.
Gilreath is believed to be the mastermind behind the 1996
killing of 69-year-old Edwin Levi McCollum, a clerk at the now closed Bear Paw Army-Navy Store on Tara Boulevard in Jonesboro. Gilreath possibly had connections to white supremacist groups, said former Jonesboro police Lt. Roosevelt Smith, now a major with the Zebulon Police Department, who investigated the case in 1996.
Jerry Gilreath was being held without bond on Tuesday.