MARION COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Two Marion County inmates have been captured after officials say they got out of the front door of the county jail.
Marion County Sheriff Horace Snyder says an error on the part of the jailer on duty at the Detention Center on Highway 41 Sunday night led to the escape of 22-year-old Corey Lyles and 19-year-old Cedric Wimbush- straight out the main entrance.
"The jailer used poor judgement and did not follow proper procedure. If the proper procedure had been followed, all the doors would have been locked and there would have been no way for them to escape," Sheriff Snyder told WTVM Monday.
Members of the Georgia State Patrol and surrounding police agencies joined the Marion County Sheriff's Office in their search for Lyles and Wimbush. The inmates didn't make it far.
About 12 hours later and only a mile away from the jail, the duo was spotted in a neighborhood near downtown Buena Vista. The sheriff says they had somehow managed to change out of their jail uniforms and into regular clothes.
Lyles, the man Snyder says is a convicted sex offender, was arrested Monday morning when he was seen crossing Rodgers Street. Several hours later, Wimbush was taken into custody when he darted across the same street.
For Corey Lyles, this is his second escape in Marion County in recent weeks.
In July, the sheriff told News Leader 9 Lyles got away from a prison work detail on a local tree farm and beat and robbed a Marion County High School senior.
"He came from behind, punched me in the back of my head. I feel forward, kind of blacked out. I tried to shift the Gator and hit the gas. He just grabbed my throat and started choking me. Then, he threw me to the ground and started beating my head. He slammed my head against the Gator twice and just kept choking me," the victim told WTVM in an interview after the incident.
The teen was left with a concussion, bruises and hemorrhaging in both of his eyes.
Lyles was caught several days later in Chambers County, Alabama.
"He's been raised in Buena Vista and been in trouble most all of his life from juvenile on up. We're happy to have him back," the sheriff said of Lyles after his arrest Monday.
"I was really scared. You can just be walking and anybody can come up and do anything to you. A little small town like this- it's kind of surprising," said Marion County resident Elaine Hudson.
Corey Lyles and Cedric Wimbush both face new charges of escape in Marion County.
Sheriff Snyder says the jail is in lock down and Corey Lyles is in maximum security.
On top of his new escape charges, Snyder says Lyles was originally doing time for shoplifting, probation revocation, and obstruction of a police officer and in July, he was also charged with escape, robbery and aggravated assault.
When it comes to his jailer, the sheriff tells WTVM his is dealing with the internal personnel matter.