JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The search for fugitive Sean Williams is on its third day Friday. Williams, who faces a slew of felony state and federal charges including child rape and drug charges, escaped from police custody in Greene County on Wednesday.
Williams was being transported from a Kentucky correctional facility, where he was being held, to Greene County for a court appearance. During the transport, Williams managed to escape from police custody.
Northeast State Community College Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, and former Washington County, Tenn. deputy Eric Stanton said that it’s a failure to have an inmate escape during a transport.
Stanton said that he was a part of several prisoner transports during his time as a deputy. He said that many people would classify Williams as a ‘high-value individual’ because of the quantity and nature of his state and federal charges.
Williams had been held in the Laurel County, Kentucky Correctional Center since allegedly attempting to escape the Washington County Detention Center in Jonesborough back in July. Stanton said that Williams’ history of escape attempts adds to his high-value individual status. He said that these individuals normally receive an extra layer of restraints during transport.
“That inmate would probably be belly-chained and they would also probably be handcuffed and shackled,” Stanton said. “There’s a black box that goes between the two handcuffs and it actually would have another lock like a master lock.”
Stanton said that the use of a headrest and possible use of a paper clip to break a window raises questions about the van that was used to transport Williams.
He said that every transport van that he’s seen had a cage or wires to prevent an inmate from breaking a van window to escape.
“I have serious questions and I know investigators do as well,” Stanton said. “Every vehicle I’ve ever been around for transport would have some type of cage or wire mesh over windows where people just couldn’t kick windows and get out.”
Stanton said that law enforcement is certainly going to review this case to find out exactly how Williams managed to escape. He added that it’s important to not have something like this happen again.