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Lumpkin County escapee caught near sheriff's office

POSTED: February 20, 2014 11:02 a.m.

Escaped Lumpkin County inmate Larry Lavaughan Farmer was recaptured late Wednesday about a half-mile from the Lumpkin sheriff's office, Sheriff’s Lt. Wesley Burnett said this morning via email.

He was taken into custody without incident just before 11 p.m., Burnett said.

Authorities had searched for Farmer who ripped a toilet from a cell wall and scaled a barbed-wire fence on his way to escaping jail.

Farmer, who has Hall County ties, fled the Lumpkin County Detention Center at 11:35 p.m. Tuesday with another inmate, William Jeffrey Harris.

After breaking through an interior cell wall, the pair went to a mechanical area of the jail, then broke a window and climbed out to reach the outside of the building, according to an early Wednesday email from the sheriff’s office.

“Once outside, the two were able to climb over two fences, one with barbed wire and the other with razor wire,” the email stated.

Harris, injured by the wire atop the fences, surrendered to officers.

“When Harris returned to the facility, an immediate lockdown occurred and a headcount was completed,” Burnett said. “Harris and Farmer shared a cell, so it was immediately known Farmer was gone.”

In addition to questioning Harris, who faces an escape charge, “officers were able to piece together a lot of the incident due to damage to the facility, items left behind by Harris and Farmer, and outside video surveillance,” Burnett said.

The description of Farmer stated he is 47 years old, 6-foot-1, weighing 220 pounds and has blue eyes and gray hair. The sheriff’s office also stated that he was considered dangerous.

Farmer was in the jail on the following charges:

  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Attempt to distribute methamphetamine
  • Trafficking methamphetamine
  • Fleeing/eluding a police officer
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Possession of a firearm/knife during the commission of crime
  • Forgery in the first degree
  • Giving false information to an officer
  • Several traffic offenses

“Farmer has been known to frequent areas in Hall, Habersham and Lumpkin counties,” according to the sheriff’s email.

Involved in the search early on were K-9 units from the Lumpkin and Forsyth County sheriff’s offices, as well as the Appalachian Drug Task Force, a multiagency narcotics unit serving Lumpkin, Towns, Union and White counties, Burnett said.

The U.S. Marshals Service and Georgia Bureau of Investigation later joined the search.

“We have also notified all surrounding law enforcement agencies of the escape,” Burnett said.

He didn’t have further information on Farmer’s ties to Hall.

Burnett also said it appears all jail policies and procedures “were being followed” at the time of the escape.

“So, as of right now, an internal investigation has not been warranted,” he said. “However, the jail commander will ... complete his review of the incident.”


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