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Police nab 1 of 2 inmates who 'dug their way out' of Alabama jail

A stolen car lays upside down Tuesday in Escambia County, Florida, after the apprehension of an jail escapee from Alabama.
A stolen car lays upside down Tuesday in Escambia County, Florida, after the apprehension of an jail escapee from Alabama.

Credit: WEAR-TV/Hudson Miller

Credit: WEAR-TV/Hudson Miller

Two Alabama jail inmates escaped Sunday night after they created a makeshift tool from a stool in their cell and "dug their way" to freedom through a concrete wall around their cell window, police said.

A tip on Tuesday led to the capture of one of the escapees — 26-year-old Joseph Keith Edwards — in Escambia County, Florida.

The other inmate, Landon Lee Gunter, is still on the run, and police don't believe that he was in the Pensacola area with Edwards.

Edwards was taken into custody Tuesday after a brief police chase that ended when he lost control of his stolen vehicle on a sharp curve and rolled over into a ditch, police said.

Police said Edwards had to be extracted from the car and airlifted to an area hospital. There he was escorted by multiple law enforcement authorities, including US Marshals.

Authorities earlier spotted Edwards in the car that had been reported carjacked in Saraland, Alabama.

Joseph Keith Edwards
Joseph Keith Edwards

Credit: Courtesy of Chilton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Courtesy of Chilton County Sheriff's Office

Police said the pair initially stole a flatbed truck from a Chilton County funeral home, but later abandoned it before stealing blue Kia in a carjacking in Saraland.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the stolen car belonged to Edwards' mother, who was pushed from the vehicle and dragged for a short distance after trying to convince Edwards to surrender.

On Sunday, the men were noticed missing at a 7 p.m. headcount at the Chilton County Jail in Clanton, Alabama.

Police could not immediately say how much of a headstart they had before the escape was noticed.

Edwards was locked up for possession of dangerous drugs, first-degree possession of drug paraphernalia, and receiving a stolen vehicle. He now faces additional charges including reckless driving, fleeing and alluding authorities and driving under the influence of drugs.

Landon Lee Gunter
Landon Lee Gunter

Credit: Courtesy of Chilton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Courtesy of Chilton County Sheriff's Office

Gunter was in the jail on an auto theft charge. He is described as a 5 foot, 10 inch white man who weighs about 155 pounds.