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280 Winchester Dr.
Hamilton, AL 35570

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03/31/2017

Marion County escapee captured in Carbon Hill

An escaped Marion County inmate was recaptured in Carbon Hill in the early morning hours on Thursday after a local police officer saw the inmate sitting in a local house.

According to Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams, Cory Wayne Dean, 22, Brilliant, was arrested at 1:18 a.m. Marion County deputies picked him up at the Carbon Hill Jail and brought him back to the Marion County Jail in Hamilton.

Carbon Hill Police Chief Paul Agnew also confirmed the arrest Thursday.

Dean was arrested for third-degree escape, first-degree theft of property and harassing communications, Williams said. The theft charge involved a Ford Ranger pickup stolen from Hamilton at the time of the escape and then recovered last week in Mooreville, Miss. The harassing communications charge involved a threat that Dean allegedly made to his girlfriend shortly before the escape.

Williams, who also confirmed recent media accounts of the escape and the search in the Journal Record in Hamilton, said Dean and Zepplin Kennedy, 20, Hamilton, escaped from the Marion County Jail on March 17, which initiated a manhunt that has involved more than 40 law enforcement officials, including the U.S. Marshal’s Office, as the pair crossed Northwest Alabama and into Mississippi.

Both were originally charged in different cases. Dean has been charged with seven counts of third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree arson and discharging a firearm into an unoccupied dwelling.

Kennedy was being held on 31 counts of possession of pornography and production of pornography with a minor before the escape. He was arrested without incident at his grandmother’s home in Hamilton on March 21, and is now being held in the Marion County Jail on $110,000 bond, Williams said, adding Dean will likely get a similar bond at his bond hearing that is set for today.

Also, Kennedy’s grandmother, Annette Huddleston, 57, Hamilton, has been arrested for aiding and abetting, harboring a fugitive and obstruction of a governmental operation. A total of nine arrests recently have been made in aiding Kennedy.

Williams said the two, who were each being held in isolation at the time, escaped at 1:30 a.m. on March 17. Because they were in isolation, the two were awakened around then to take a shower. As they were walking to the shower, the two ran to the main lobby, pushing buttons to release locks and a panic bar at the main entrance to reach the parking lot. The two fled on foot into a nearby wooded area.

Dean was involved a number of drug deals. He was also involved in church burglaries in recent months, during which one church was burned, Williams indicated to the Journal Record. Musical instruments taken in the burglaries were sold in Mississippi.

The two men went to Mississippi first, Williams said.

“They went to Itawamba County, Lee County and Pontotoc County” for a few days, Williams said. They returned to Alabama to spend a couple of days in Kennedy, in Lamar County. At that point, Kennedy went back to his grandmother’s house, and Dean has been on the run since then.

Agnew said Thursday that about 12:15 a.m. that morning Sgt. Antoine Cobb, the department’s patrol sargeant, was patrolling on the 500 block of Fourth Avenue NE.

“He looked through the glass door into the house and saw the guy sitting there on the couch while he was watching TV. It is a well-lit living room. I’ve ridden there several times myself and looked in there and seen several people sitting there.”

Cobb asked Assistant Chief Jason Richardson and two Walker County Sheriff’s Department deputies to assist him. They went into the house to arrest him around 12:30 a.m.

Dean at first denied that he was the suspect they were looking for, until they held up the suspect’s photo to his head. “He said, ‘Well, that’s me,’” Agnew said.

A man who lived at the residence was not there and did not know Dean was an escapee, Agnew said. He had picked up Dean several days earlier as the escapee was walking along a road in Kansas, indicating he could use a ride. He took Dean to a Kansas residence to be taken care of.

Agnew said Dean called on the man a few days later, which led to allowing Dean to come to the Fourth Avenue residence, which the man and someone else shares, so that Dean could shower and clean up.

The two men at that residence were not arrested and have been cooperative in the case, he said. Williams confirmed that, adding a couple of similar situations with innocent individuals were found in Lamar County in the course of the investigation, as Kennedy got two separate rides during his travels.

“The ones we did arrest, they knew who they were and they helped them anyway,” Williams said. “If you know they are a fugitive and are on the run, you are subject to arrest,” even if all you do is to provide food or clothing.

No items were recovered in Dean’s arrest, Agnew said.

Agnew appreciated the cooperation among the various law enforcement departments.

“We share a teamwork and a brotherhood that spans the whole state,” he said. “We support each other with a great fervent desire to make sure everybody is safe. We want to give everybody what they want. Some want to go to jail and some want to be good citizens.

“All in all, my guys did a fantastic job. Sgt. Cobb and Assistant Chief Richardson did an outstanding job in paying attention while they were on patrol,” he said.

Sheriff Williams would like to express his gratitude to the officers of the Carbon Hill Police Department and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in apprehending Inmate Dean this morning,” said a statement Thursday from the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.

“Sheriff Williams advised his department along with assistance from multiple other law enforcement agencies have been working around the clock for the past 13 days to apprehend Inmate Dean.”

Williams said in the statement, “I am relieved that both inmates are back in custody and no one was injured while they were on the run. The apprehensions of Inmates Dean and Kennedy are the result of multiple law enforcement agencies working together and sharing resources.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the following agencies for their assistance in the case of the escaped inmates: United States Marshal’s Service, Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Hamilton Police Department, Winfield Police Department, Brilliant Police Department, Guin Police Department, and Kennedy Police Department. Also, I would like to thank the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Office, Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office, and Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi and any other agencies that I may have forgotten.”

“Also, I would like to thank all the citizens that have called any of the mentioned agencies with any tips. You can rest assured that all tips were investigated and appreciated.”

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