The second of four men who escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center on Saturday has been captured in Florida after trying to burglarize a church, officials said.
Two of the four escapees remain at large.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Ronnie Willis said he was informed Tuesday that Wesley Lee Gibson, 27, Florence, was arrested earlier in the day in Santa Rosa County, Fla. Santa Rosa officials called the sheriff’s office about 7:30 a.m. to notify them of the arrest.
“From what we understand, they caught him trying to break into a church,” Willis said. “But there was no sign of the other two (escapees).”
Gibson, Damien Lee Nix, 23, of Russellville, Ricky Dewayne Lawson, 28, of Lexington, and Robert Lee Brown, 20, of Sheffield, reportedly climbed through an air-conditioning duct to the roof of the jail and escaped through a fence late Saturday night, officials said.
Willis said Nix was arrested just after 10 p.m. Sunday at a residence on East Limestone Street in Florence. The sheriff said the search continues for Lawson and Brown.
Authorities said Gibson was caught in Navarre, Fla., southeast of Pensacola.
“From what we’ve been able to determine, he was caught inside the church, apparently trying to steal the keys to a church vehicle,” Willis said of Gibson.
He said the red truck that Lawson’s father, Earnest Earl Lawson, allowed the men to use during the escape has been found in a nearby Wal-Mart parking lot.
“That means the other two have stolen another vehicle, are on foot or getting help from someone else,” Willis said.
Officials said Lawson’s father, Earnest Earl Lawson, was arrested Sunday and charged with first-degree escape because he picked up his son, Brown and Gibson.
Willis said his office is continuing to work with U.S. marshals to follow up on information that could lead them to Lawson and Brown.
Authorities said they have reason to believe they could be in Florida.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 256-760-5757 or Shoals Area Crime Stoppers at 256-3860-8685.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.