GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The jailer of the correctional facility where Sean Williams was being held before escaping a prison transport van has released new details as to how he may have been able to get out of the vehicle, and investigators have also provided photos of tattoos on his left arm.
Jamie Mosley, the jailer of the Laurel County Correctional Center, provided News Channel 11 with a statement Thursday, giving new insight into how Williams, who was on his way to a federal court hearing Wednesday, managed to escape.
“The headrest was used as an instrument at some point,” Mosley said. “Further investigation has revealed that he potentially may have used a paper clip that was discovered in the van where the inmate was seated to free himself from the restraints.”
An affidavit filed by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent charging Williams with escape stated the deputies transporting Williams arrived at a sally port area of the federal courthouse in Greeneville when they realized a window on the van had been kicked out and Williams was gone.
“It also appears that the inmate exited the van very near to the entrance of the federal courthouse, according to a witness and GPS system on the van corresponding with [the] time he was spotted around 8:30 a.m.,” Mosley stated.
Williams, 51, had been held at the Laurel County Correctional Center in Kentucky since allegedly attempting to escape the Washington County Detention Center in Jonesborough in July 2023.
The search for Williams, who is facing federal charges of child pornography production and state charges of child rape, continued into Thursday. The U.S. Marshals Service is also investigating the circumstances of Williams’s escape. U.S. Marshal David Jolley told News Channel 11 Wednesday that anyone found to have helped facilitate the escape or who was negligent in their duties will be prosecuted.
Both the U.S. Marshals and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) have offered rewards for information leading to the capture of Williams, totaling $7,500.
The TBI also released images Thursday of three tattoos Williams has, all on his left hand and arm.
Jolley told News Channel 11 Thursday afternoon that searching agencies did not have any solid leads at the time on Williams’s whereabouts. The search still involved a “substantial number of personnel” Thursday but fewer than Wednesday in order to keep officers fresh, Jolley said.
Williams has a shaved head and is described as being 5 feet 11 inches and weighing roughly 170 pounds. The U.S. Marshals stated Wednesday that Williams is “desperate to escape,” and anyone who sees him should call 911.