Court Security

Inmate drove from courthouse in truck he found with keys in ignition, authorities say

An inmate charged with felony battery escaped from custody outside a Georgia courthouse on Tuesday as he was being transferred to a law enforcement vehicle, along with other inmates, after a court hearing.

Authorities in Hall County say they believe James Edward Cantrell, 46, concealed himself in an alcove of an exterior doorway of the courthouse as the transfer was about to occur, then drove off in a nearby red pickup truck that had been left with the keys in the ignition. He had been at the Hall County Courthouse for a hearing concerning an alleged violation of a protective order related to the battery case, according to the Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

At last report, he had not been recaptured. He was last seen wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.

The pickup, described as a work truck, apparently had been inadvertently made available to Cantrell by its driver.

Fox 5 Atlanta and the Gainesville Times also have stories.

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