McClain County Terminates Inmate Work Release Program

Tuesday, February 12th 2013, 8:08 pm
By: News 9

Big changes are coming after two McClain County inmates escape from a work-release program.

The Sheriff says responsibility lies with him even though the men weren't in his custody when they escaped.

Police found one of the men hiding under a trailer. The McClain County Sheriff says things need to change before he lets inmates out of his jail and into county custody again.

A chase up I-35 into Norman as police try catching up with these two men, who took off from a McClain COunty work-release program. Taylor Brotherton and Chase Clemons ditched the stolen pick-up and took off, forcing Norman schools into lockdown.

2/11/2013 Related Story: McClain County Escapee Found In Norman

McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett says the two were low-risk, low bond offenders who haven't broken any jail rules, working for the county during the day as part of a program.

"I made the decision and everybody knew up front that if we ever had a problem like this that this program would be terminated," the Sheriff said.

Worried parents voiced concern that the suspects weren't under an armed guard's watch.

Sheriff Hewett says this was the first time someone escaped from the program. Several other counties and the Department of Corrections have similar programs.

The two suspects now face additional charges of larceny of a motor vehicle and escape from a county jail.