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Inmate escapes, doesn't get far

After a stop at his mom's house, he flees to a motel, where he is found.

By JONATHAN ABEL
Published February 27, 2007


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BROOKSVILLE - An inmate who escaped from the Hernando jail Monday afternoon was caught just after 7 p.m. Monday night in a nearby motel, but jail officials were still trying to explain the third escape in just over a year.

Kenneth Farris, 41, was arrested by Brooksville police Monday morning and booked into the jail just after 4 a.m.

Somehow, about 2 p.m., he managed to walk out of the jail and find his way to his mother's house, a few miles up California Street.

The jail, which is run by Corrections Corporation of America, did not notify the Sheriff's Office of the escape until 5:07 p.m. - almost 2 1/2 hours after Farris was seen leaving his mother's house at 16280 Tampa St.

Farris apparently saw his mother, got some clothes and then fled.

According to radio dispatches, he was tracked down at the Budget Inn in Brooksville.

Farris was arrested Monday and charged with stealing a gumball machine and a Powerball machine from a Golden Corral restaurant, said Brooksville Officer John Cavanna.

After charging him, police discovered Farris was out on parole and wanted for allegedly stealing someone's identity in Indiana.

His escape makes the third time since last February that an inmate has been able to break out of the Hernando County Jail.

Last February, an inmate walked through an unlocked door in the middle of the night. He was caught about nine hours later after a car chase on Cortez Boulevard.

In September, an inmate climbed out of a concrete recreation yard and escaped. He was caught a few minutes later cutting through a field near the jail.

Jonathan Abel can be reached at jabel@sptimes.com or 352 754-6114.

[Last modified February 26, 2007, 23:22:15]


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