7th Escape - Problems at Bryan Co Jail

2-13-06- Finding an escaped murder suspect is just the beginning of the problems for Bryan County. This weekend's 3-man escape was the 7th in the past year. County leaders have blamed a lack of money and poor management for many of the problems.

Kevin Leon Cross was being held on a first-degree murder charge. There have been six jailbreaks in Bryan County, with Cross and two other inmates pulling off the seventh escape. According to the jail administrator a jailer was grabbed from behind. He felt something sharp against his back, and then he walked Kevin Cross, David Scott, and Justin Reynolds outside.

Scott and Reynolds were caught Saturday night, but Cross was not. Cameras are set up inside the jail, but the administrator says jail employees did not recognize that there was a problem. But some would say the Bryan County Jail has a chronic problem. The sheriffs department ran the jail until 2002 when the county created a jail trust authority.

Since then, two administrators were fired and one quit. Deloris Phillips is the fourth to take over. She says the jail is out of money. County commissioners oversee the jail authority. They help determine the budget and monitor activities.

At the request of the district attorney, the OSBI is investigating how three inmates broke out of the jail. In severe cases the attorney general can shut down a jail. But the state jail inspector says he does not think those measures will be taken in Bryan County.

Authorities believe that Kevin Cross is still in the Bryan County Area. If you know of his whereabouts or have seen him, contact the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency.