When 46-year-old Jimmy Causey escaped from Lieber Correctional Institution, Ridgeville, SC, on July 4, it was his second escape in 12 years from a maximum-security state prison. Once again, he duped prison officers using the exact same tactic concealing his absence: a dummy tucked under a sheet in his bed, appearing to be sound asleep.

He made it nearly all the way to Austin, TX, this time, where he was captured by Texas Rangers at a Motel 6 around 4 a.m. on July 7. He was captured while he was asleep and didn’t resist, according to Mark Keel, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief.

When he was captured, he had ammo, a semi-automatic handgun, a shotgun, a South Carolina ID card, more than $47,000 in cash, and four cell phones. Causey is incarcerated for life following his part in the 2002 first-degree burglary, armed robbery, and kidnapping of his former defense attorney, Jack Swerling, in Midlands, SC. For several hours, he held Swerling, his wife, and his daughter hostage at gunpoint.

Inmate’s second prison escape bears uncanny similarity with his first escape

In 2005, Causey’s first dummy-escape accomplice was made of toilet paper and clothing – and left alone to sleep in Causey’s prison cell bed. That escape from Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia, SC, was aided by a trash bin that a truck, then, picked up with him in tow.

Three days later, he was captured along with another inmate-escapee when a woman delivering a pizza, to the motel where he was holed up, contacted law enforcement.

His 2017 dummy-escape partner, was made of paper mâché this time. It was tucked snug in his bed and seemingly slept undetected for roughly 18 hours. His most recent get-away was also far more high-tech than his first escape.

Not only did he have 12 years to plan a more advanced escape, he also had access to, at least, one cell phone and a drone.

Drone made the drop, wire cutters used to reduce obstacles to freedom

Bryan Stirling, director of South Carolina Department of Corrections, said Causey used a cell phone and a drone delivered wire cutters to him in prison.

He cut through a minimum of four fences to attain his short-lived freedom.

The fallout for prisoner’s following Causey’s drone-assisted escape is that the state’s governor, Henry McMaster, stated that South Carolina will work to ensure that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allow prisons to jam signals affecting cell phones:

Jam cell phone signals is SC governor’s answer to escapee

McMaster believes that blocking the signals will increase prison safety. The governor’s resolve to convince the FCC to let prisons jam the signals mirrors Stirling’s views relayed July 7 during a news conference describing Causey’s escape.

According to McMaster, cell phones are tossed over prison fences or smuggled into prisons as quickly as they are confiscated. He believes that inmates shouldn’t have cell phone or Internet access, citing that inmates call hits on people (not imprisoned) and make videos within their prison cells.

Prison employee fired after prisoner’s escape

Following Causey’s escape earlier this month, officials acknowledge that a prison employee was fired from Lieber Correctional Institution, according to Sommer Sharpe, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections. Additional details about the employee’s identity or job position haven’t been released.

There is an internal review to determine whether prison employees assisted in Causey’s escape and how he obtained so much cash.

According to Keel, law enforcement will bring justice to anyone who assisted Causey.

Kevin Tamaz is a prison security consultant and worked 30 years in law enforcement. He said that it would take sophistication and require a “powerful machine” to deliver a heavy object such as wire cutters. The contraband doesn’t drop like a bomb.

Jamming signals doesn’t answer how escapee was unnoticed 18 hours

Legislators in the state are asking how Causey’s escape went unnoticed. In South Carolina, there are cameras focused on the perimeters at maximum-security prisons. There are also headcounts taken routinely.

Senator Karl Allen, a member of the state’s Corrections and Penology Committee, is questioning why no one detected that Causey hadn’t moved from bed for the 18 hours he gained a jump start on law enforcement.

Prison guards would have had at least one regular inmate “head count” during work shift changes during the 18 hours Causey was on the run. Allen said that it was a long duration for prison officers and for the public to “be at risk.”

Senator Katrina Shealy is asking whether Causey had inside help and also why no one noticed “he was gone.” She assessed that his escape “took a lot of planning.”

Don't miss our page on Facebook!