FLORENCE — One of the four men who escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center is back in custody, and security has been tightened to prevent future escapes, officials said Monday.
Damien Lee Nix, 23, of Russellville, was arrested just after 10 p.m. Sunday at a residence on East Limestone Street in Florence, Sheriff Ronnie Willis said.
“He was found at his girlfriend’s house, about a mile from the jail,” Willis said.
Three other inmates — Ricky Dewayne Lawson, 28, Lexington; Wesley Lee Gibson, 27, Florence; and Robert Lee Brown, 20, Sheffield — are still at large, Willis said.
Lawson is charged with failure to appear, Gibson is charged with failure to appear, third-degree theft of property and third-degree trespassing, and Brown is charged with probation violation and failure to obey.
Nix was charged with two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance within three miles of a school or housing authority.
Willis said the inmates climbed through an air-conditioning duct to the roof of the jail and escaped through the fence late Saturday night.
Willis said crews were at the detention center Monday installing extra security, including additional razor wire to discourage any more escape attempts.
Willis said U.S. marshals are helping with the search.
“We have gotten some leads and are following up on them,” Willis said.
Authorities said it appears Lawson, Brown and Gibson could have traveled to the northern Florida area.
“We’re using all the resources we have to try and locate them,” Willis said.
He said Nix will be charged with first-degree escape.
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.
“It is our understanding his son called him from the detention center and told him that he was bonding out,” Willis said.
Willis said Earnest Lawson said when he pulled up to the parking lot of the detention center, all of the escapees jumped from the roof, ran to the car and got in.
Willis said the inmates were still wearing their jail-issued orange jumpsuits.
He said Earnest Lawson then drove his son, Brown and Gibson to his residence, where he gave them money and his truck and they left.
Authorities said Earnest Lawson was released from the detention center Monday on bail of $50,000.
Anyone with any information about the three escapees is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 256-760-5757 or Crime Stoppers at 256-386-8685.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.