Recaptured inmate, convicted in lawyer home invasion, likely used drone in escape, cops say

Criminal Justice




Police have captured an escaped South Carolina inmate who was in prison for holding his lawyer and his lawyer’s family at gunpoint.

Authorities arrested the inmate, Jimmy Causey, early Friday at a Motel 6 in Austin Texas, as a result of a tip, report the New York Times, the State and the Associated Press. Inside the room were more than $47,000 in cash, a semiautomatic pistol, a pump-action shotgun and four cellphones.

Causey likely used wire cutters dropped from a drone to cut through four fences to make his escape during Independence Day celebrations, according to Bryan Stirling, director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, who spoke at a news conference Friday.

Causey had used a makeshift dummy to make it appear as if he were in his prison bed, delaying discovery of his escape for 18 hours. Causey had also used a decoy to delay detection of a previous, 2005 escape in a prison dumpster.

Causey was convicted of kidnapping for tying up and holding Columbia lawyer Jack Swerling and his family at gunpoint in 2002. Swerling had previously defended Causey, helping him get reduced prison sentences in two cases in the 1990s.

Causey held a grudge because he got prison time in the two prior cases, according to testimony at his 2004 trial.

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