Two Faulkner County jail officers have been fired as a result of an investigation into the Aug. 17 escape of three inmates.
The employment of the officers, identified as Seth Ferguson and Christina Jordan, was terminated as of 1 p.m. Friday, Sheriff Andy Shock said.
Shock said there are other facts concerning the investigation that cannot be released at this time, but will be available in the “very near future.”
The jailers were two of four detention facility officers present when Jonathan Jackson, 24, Joel Vermillion, 27, and Stacy Wilson, 41, pulled back a fence in the recreation yard and jumped a barbed wire fence to escape the jail.
In the hours following the escape, Shock said policies and procedures were not followed by staff, which allowed the inmates to escape.
All three escapees were captured within the next several days, and the investigation into the detention staff began.
In a memo to Major John Randall, after interviewing the involved officers, Captain Lloyd Vincent said he felt “the escape could have been prevented if the officers performed the duties stated in policy. Instead, they chose not to.”
Vincent also stated “there is no excuse for the work (the officers) did that day.”
During the sheriff’s office investigation, it was revealed by reviewing the facility’s recreation log that Jackson, Vermillion and Wilson were listed as returning from the recreation yard after detention staff were alerted of a possible escape, and conducted a head count of inmates.
It was also discovered through staff interviews, and reviewing logs, that only two walk throughs had been completed the day of the escape. It is required by facility policy to complete a walk through every 30 minutes, and is a state law requirement for a walk through to be completed every 60 minutes, Vincent noted.
Jordan’s personnel files show an initial hire date of May 11, 2011 as a part-time detention officer. Jordan was promoted to a full-time detention officer June 15, 2011.
Jordan also spent time as the kitchen supervisor before being moved back to the position of detention officer Aug. 27, 2012.
Personnel files show Ferguson was initially hired as a part-time detention officer Nov. 9, 2011, and was promoted to full-time later in the month.
Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney said Friday that all three captured inmates have been charged with third-degree escape, a class C felony.
Jackson and Wilson are being held in lieu of a $1 million bond, while Vermillion is being held without bond, court documents show.
Hiland said Jace McCollum, of Greenbrier, and Jennifer Ruminer, of Vilonia, have been charged with hindering the apprehension of Jackson. Ruminer is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 23, while McCollum is scheduled for arraignment Oct. 21.
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