Inmate walks out of jail

By DeeAnna Haney | Dec 15, 2012

An inmate at the Haywood County Jail slipped out the front door over the weekend, but was taken back into custody shortly thereafter.

Jim Schick, jail administrator, said around 6 p.m. Sunday, one of the correctional center staff went to the room to check on the inmates.

The women held in the facility adjacent to the jail called the Annex, are checked on twice every hour and are usually under surveillance by two staff members at all times.

But because it was during a shift change, only one officer was making the rounds, he said.

The woman went into the room, which is dorm style rather than individual cells, to check on inmate activity. When she did, one of the inmates asked her to take a dirty mattress to the laundry room.

While carrying the mattress from the room, Misty Medford, 30, ran out of the cell, Schick said. As soon as she escaped from the locked room, there was nothing restricting her outside access.

Medford went to a nearby home on Robinson Street and called a taxi, which drove her to Maggie Valley.

Schick said he received a call within minutes after her escape and apprehended her in Maggie Valley. From the time he received the call to the time she was back in jail was about two hours, he said.

Medford had been in custody since Nov. 7 for a string of charges including credit card theft, possession of meth, larceny, shoplifting, breaking and entering and more.

She now faces another misdemeanor charge for escaping jail and her bond is set at $68,500.

Schick said there are two deadbolts on the door of the Annex, but he is looking into implementing further security measures at that location. Currently only women are housed in the facility.

The detention staff person working at the time is still employed, he said.

Sheriff Bobby Suttles said this was an isolated incident and assured the public is not at risk.