Fulton County jailer gives new details about guards accused of aiding escape

We have new details on two guards accused of helping an inmate escape the Fulton County Jail this week.

State police say they found Michael Hunter near Elizabethtown Tuesday after he walked away from the jail on Monday.

Fulton County Jailer Ricky Parnell interviewed two guards, Monica Mayes and Jason Smith shortly after. Parnell said he saw the two on camera helping Hunter leave. After interviewing them, Parnell said he had no choice but to arrest them.

We don’t know exactly what they are accused of doing to help Hunter escape. KSP still has control over the surveillance video. 

But we do know Hunter was working in the jail when he was able to just walk out the sally port, the entrance they walk inmates inside.

Angie Branham works across the street from the jail. She says the inmates help clean up town, never causing any problems. "We deal with the inmates here, and they’re all good people," she says.

What she says is shocking is who helped let one of the inmates out.

Parnell says all the jail’s security measures didn’t matter in this instance. "The policies were there. Everything was where it was supposed to be. It was just some guards did some things they shouldn’t have done," he says.

Hunter was a level three state inmate, which means he was allowed to work within the jail but could never leave.

"I could have had 20 steel doors between them and the outside, but in the situation that happened those 20 are doors was open," Parnell says.

Parnell says he didn’t enjoy arresting guards he trusted, but Smith told him he let Hunter go because he was scared. Parnell says Smith told him Hunter was a part of the Aryan Nation, a a white supremacist group.

The jailer says there’s no excuse for letting an inmate go. "There are times everyone gets scared in their life, but you don’t let inmates go," he says.

Parnell says when there’s a problem, they fix it. But when people are the problem, they get caught. He says he met with his employees Wednesday morning. He said one of the things he stressed was that under no circumstance are you supposed to let an inmate walk out.

Both Mayes and Smith were held in segregation at the jail until they bonded out Tuesday morning.

KSP tells us they’re still investigating the case.

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