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Inmate captured after manhunt that put some schools on lockdown
Man left work release facility
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Hall County sheriff’s investigators found an inmate who walked away from the work release facility on Barber Rod in southern Hall County this morning.

"He’s back in custody now and is charged with felony escape," Sgt. Kiley Sargent said. "He was picked up by a co-worker this morning."

Joey Todd Brown, 21, previously was charged with traffic and drug violations. When officers confronted him with a mandatory drug screening before he reported to his job, Brown jumped into a car that was waiting to take him to work 9:30 a.m., Sargent said.

Officers stopped the vehicle on Poplar Springs Road, and Brown got out of the car and ran toward Gilleland Circle. The driver was taken to the Hall County Law Enforcement Center and questioned.

"Hall County sheriff’s deputies and K-9 units, along with the Gainesville Police Department and Georgia State Patrol Aviation Unit, assisted in the search for Brown," Sargent said. "Brown was apprehended by deputies in a wooded area near Amerleigh Subdivision on Poplar Springs Road. He was taken into custody without incident."

Brown will be removed from the work release facility, which allows qualified inmates to work and support their families while serving mandated sentences.

South Hall schools, including Johnson High School and Lanier Career Academy, were placed on lockdown until authorities found Brown about 1 p.m.

"A lockdown is the normal procedure. If they deem anything to be potentially dangerous to the population, this is the course of action followed," said Gary Brown, a Hall County Schools spokesman. "There’s a code given within the school and the doors are locked. It will last until (the Hall County Sheriff’s Office) says the coast is clear."

The schools went on with business as usual in the afternoon.

Staff writer Elizabeth Burlingame contributed to this report.