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Jail security reviewed as two inmates remain loose

By Aisha I. Jefferson

The Henry County Sheriff's Office is reviewing security measures following the escape of four inmates who probably had the help of someone on the outside, law enforcement officials said Thursday.

Two of the inmates were recaptured early Thursday morning in a wooded area behind a Citgo gas station near Moreland Avenue and Interstate 285 after a woman called police to report two men she thought resembled the escapees, Henry County Sheriff's Lt. Scott Perry said Thursday.

"I'm 99 percent sure they had outside help due to the fact that the two we caught this morning had street clothes on," Perry said. Two green prison uniforms were found discarded "right behind the jail," he said.

Michael Williams, 29, and Jonathan Scruggs, 22, who police consider "extremely dangerous," remained at large Thursday.

Hubert Sprayberry, 43, and Marvin Cannon, 52, were captured about 8:45 a.m. Thursday after police staked out the area. They were not armed and offered no resistance, and neither man made any statements, Perry said.

The four men escaped from the Henry County Jail at 120 Henry Parkway in McDonough at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, while about 49 prisoners were on recreational break under the supervision of two deputies, police said. One guard was on the outside perimeter, and another was at the doorway leading back inside the jail, Perry said.

The escapees, who were awaiting trial on unrelated charges ranging from aggravated assault and armed robbery to drugs and weapons charges, were discovered missing after a head count was taken. Perry said they now face an additional five to 10 years imprisonment for felony escape charges.

According to Perry, a fence at the back of the jail was cut, and police are trying to determine if the hole was made from the inside or the outside of the recreation yard.

The Sheriff's Office is reviewing all of its security procedures, Perry said, including having fewer inmates on the yard at one time, increasing manpower, checking the gauge of the fence wire, and putting up an additional fence.

"(If you) have a two-fence recreation yard, if you get through one, you still got to get through another one," he said.

The initial search overnight had included more than 100 law enforcement agents from Henry County Police S.W.A.T., McDonough Police, Georgia State Patrol and Henry Sheriff's deputies, Perry said. The Georgia State Patrol and Clayton County Sheriff's Office lent their helicopters to help with the manhunt.

Henry County Jail's last prison escape was last summer when Gerald Casmere escaped through a hole on a fence in another recreation yard. Within two hours, Henry Sheriff's deputies caught Casmere in a wooded area down the street from the jail, Perry said.

Sprayberry has been in jail since Nov. 21, 2004, Cannon has been in prison since Feb. 23, Scruggs and Williams, had been in since March 23 and Dec. 28, respectively.

Williams is white, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds; Scruggs is white, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. Anyone with additional information should call 911 or the Henry County Sheriff's Office at (770) 954-2200.