• Officials: Inmate charged with helping another inmate escape

    By: Dave Faherty , Liz Foster

    Updated:

    ANSON COUNTY, N.C. - An Anson County inmate has been charged for helping another inmate escape Wednesday.

    Brown Creek Correctional inmate Justin Campbell will be charged with a felony for helping Devan Brown escape earlier this week.

    According to officials, Campbell allegedly traded bunks with Brown which put him closer to an area where he could escape.

    State authorities told Channel 9 they believed Devan Brown, 22, jumped the fence at Brown Creek Correctional Institution. He was caught 12 hours later in Rowan County. The investigation into his escape is still ongoing.

    Correction officers at Brown Creek Correctional Institution saw Brown Tuesday night when they made their rounds at 11 p.m. By midnight, he was gone, prompting a search across the state.

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    Amanda Bestwick lives across the street from Brown Creek, which houses minimum and medium security inmates, and Lanesboro, a maximum security prison. She’s upset she didn’t get an alert that an inmate escaped.

    “It would just be nice to know. ‘Hey, somebody’s out, and you guys are right across the street, so you might be in a little bit of danger,” she told Channel 9.

    After a 12-hour search, fugitive officers and canines found the Brown 54 miles away in a wooded area in Landis.

    “I’m glad for the area around,” Betty Griffin said. “Also, I’m glad for him. Maybe he can get rehabilitated because he’s mighty young to be in prison.”

    Brown is serving about five years at Brown Correctional for multiple DWI convictions.

    The Polkton police chief said he had help getting away, but state authorities say it wasn’t from prison staff members.

    Channel 9 has reported on other issues at Brown Creek just within the past year. In June, inmate Kristopher McNeil, convicted of second-degree murder, escaped by jumping a fence. His getaway driver was a prison kitchen worker. In December, a Brown Creek correctional officer was charged with trying to bring marijuana inside for inmates.

    A spokesman with the Department of Public Safety told Channel 9 on Wednesday there have been security improvements at Brown Creek in recent years but wouldn’t go into specifics.

    DPS will pursue a charge for felony escape against Brown. He will be brought back to Brown Creek to be interviewed but will likely be moved to a medium or maximum security prison.

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