Inmates relocated after jail break

Miles 4 (1).jpg

Terrell Gailand Miles


Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

After the second jail break in less than two months, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said he is removing 88 prisoners from the Nash County Detention Center until the escape route can be fixed.

Terrell Gailand Miles, 29, escaped from the detention center at 220 W. Washington St. in Nashville in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. The first press release from the Nash County Sheriff’s Office sent out about 11:41 Tuesday indicated that the escape was a recent occurrence, but Stone clarified at a 2 p.m. news conference that the escape likely happened between 1 and 3 a.m. Tuesday.

“He was last seen at bed check last night and was not found in his bunk at the 7 a.m. breakfast check,” Stone said. “The news about the escape was disheartening. But it just tells us that we have got to step up our game and we are going to work tirelessly through the night. Its going to be a long night and a long tomorrow, but we’re going to bring him back to justice.”

Miles, who lives on the 400 block of North Mercer Street in Rocky Mount, is believed to have stuffed materials in a door lock to render it inoperable, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office. Once outside the door, which leads directly to the exercise yard, Miles apparently pushed out the lower part of the fence surrounding the exercise area to gain access to the perimeter passageway. 

“He was in a dorm area where there were roughly 40 inmates in that area. Sometime during the night he left his assigned bunk and went out through a malfunctioning back door and it appears from the investigation at this time that he crawled under the fence,” Stone said.

Miles’s method of escaped shares eerie similarities to the method of escape used less than two months ago when five inmates escaped from the detention center, setting off a manhunt that took days to resolve.

“It is happening through a lock system and because these doors are dilapidated. Repair plans take time and require various stages of approval. It’s not like we can go down to Lowe’s to get another door. It is a process we are going through,” Stone said. 

However, after the escape of six prisoners in roughly seven weeks, Stone said he is unwilling to take any more chances until the door and fence are properly upgraded and better security measures are in place at the detention center. 

Some prisoners will still remain in more secure areas of the center, but Stone said 88 prisoners in the less secure pod areas will be moved to several undisclosed correctional institutions in the state until he feels confident that the prisoners can be properly monitored and secured at the Nashville facility.

“We are working with the Department of Public Safety and I want to thank the state of North Carolina for stepping up and offering their assistance to take these inmates,” Stone said. “I feel this is an urgent need for the safety of people in Nash County — and for inmates and the staff — to take these people out of here until we get the situation corrected and then we will bring them back in.”

Stone said he is working with Nash County commissioners to address funding needed for the upgrade but said the process is a slow one.

“The county commissioners have put together a staff of different individuals to look at jail needs. Just last week, we had Georgia Detention looking at these doors. It takes specialty units to do that. But some of this was built in the 1960s and it takes time to correct these issues,” Stone said.

Stone said he also is investigating other aspects of the escape.

“We are also looking at what was going on with the staff at that time. But this is a very preliminary moment in the investigation,” he said.

In the meantime, Nash County deputies and other law enforcement officers are still on the lookout for Miles, who had been jailed in the detention center since Feb. 14 on charges of aiding and abetting armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a felon, misdemeanor larceny, contributing to the delinquency and reckless driving.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that Miles shaved his hair over the weekend so he now has shorter hair than when he was arrested.

“He has a shaved head and distinctive facial markings, so he should be easy to recognize,” Stone said.

After the last escape in March, all five inmates were eventually recaptured and Stone is confident this will happen again.

“We will get our man. We are working with other law enforcement agencies. We are working tirelessly and we won’t stop until we do.” Stone said.

Anyone with any information about Miles’ whereabouts should call 252-459-1510 or Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.