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Escaped inmate captured

September 20, 2023 - 00:00
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    Escaped inmate back in custody
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ANDERSON — A 51-year-old inmate, Albino Guerrero, awaiting trial for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon is back in custody after walking away from the Grimes County Jail Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Guerrero was arrested by Navasota Police Department July 8, 2022 on an outstanding warrant for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. He became a trustee within the jail that August serving as a kitchen worker.

According to Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell, around 1:17 p.m., Sept. 13, Guerrero and three other inmates were escorted to the Sally Port to unload a food truck under jail personnel supervision. “It should be pretty simple,” said Grimes County Sheriff Don Sowell. “You walk out with four inmates; you walk back in with four inmates.” That wasn’t the case. Over two hours later, Sowell was notified there was a missing inmate. “At 3:47 p.m. I was notified the jail was missing an inmate.” Sowell said he hasn’t figured out how staff realized Guerrero was gone, but he was livid that it took so long before he was notified.

“School had already been let out by the time we were notified,” said Sowell. “The bad thing about it is the school wasn’t on lockdown because we didn’t know about it. Because one of my brilliant jailers apparently can’t count or is complacent - whatever you want to call it. We blew it. It was human error.”

Sowell said by the time he was notified about the escape; school had already let out at their normal time. He said the over two-hour window from when the inmate escaped, until the time he was notified really bothers him.

“It is unfortunate that somebody can be that incompetent, to be that complacent to not give a damn and then takes two hours to report it,” Sowell said with frustration. “That is the part that I am having a hard time wrapping my arms around — because of the school — because of the residents around here.”

“When you have trained jailers that know better and they don’t take their job serious and take account of observing the inmates that are under their care, custody, control and supervision then I have a weak link in the chain,” said Sowell.

Sowell said Guerrero’s inmate uniform was found near the gas pumps. “He had shorts and a tee-shirt under his jail clothes,” said Sowell. “He planned it, [the escape]."

Immediately Grimes County Deputy Pavlock and his K-9 Hank tracked the scent while waiting for Texas Department of Criminal Justice tracking dogs. They tracked the scent toward the shooting range then lost it. TDCJ dogs arrived and picked up the scent.

“We didn’t really know if he had planned to have a ride pick him up or what. We just didn’t know,” said Sowell. “I told my staff, until I’m convinced otherwise, he is on the ground.”

Information about the escape was posted to Facebook and social media. TDCJ Sgt. Clif Buchanan and his team tracked the suspect across Texas 149 for approximately 5 miles. A lady who saw the post on Facebook reached out to GCSO when she saw a suspicious person. Sowell said Buchanan was near the area and the suspect was quickly located. Around 7:55 p.m. the suspect was in custody.

“Guerrero had some scratches from the barbed wire, briars or whatever,” said Sowell. “He also had a small dog bite in his genitalia area, nothing major.” Guerrero was treated on-site by St. Joseph EMS.

When Guerrero was transported back to jail, Sowell spoke to him in the Sally Port. “I just looked at him and said, I’m very disappointed in you. He didn’t say a word.”

“The only good thing about it is he got caught timely,” said Sowell. “I commend the media, citizens and everybody that responded.”

Sowell said Guerrero was an inside trustee. “I don’t understand why it happened. He wasn’t a high-risk person. He wasn’t a violent person as far as fights and things like that.

He was charged with the charge he had, and we never had a disciplinary problem with him here.”

Guerrero was awaiting a court date and didn’t have the means to bond out. “I can’t classify him as a bad guy even though he got charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is still innocent until proven guilty,” said Sowell.

The investigation is continuing but Sowell said one employee has been terminated and another was demoted.