Authorities capture escaped Montgomery County inmate

Walter Eller / Georgia Department of Corrections

UPDATE: Eller was captured by Laurens County deputies.


MOUNT VERNON, Ga. -- Authorities are still searching for an inmate who reportedly walked away from work detail at the Montgomery State Prison in Mount Vernon on Sunday.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Walter Bryne Eller was on work detail at a chicken house near the prison at about 8:30 Sunday morning.

On Monday, Montgomery County Sheriff Doug Maybin said that a search that began shortly after Eller's disappearance and is being conducted by the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and the Treutlen County Sheriff's Office, has produced no leads.

Maybin said he believes that this could be because Eller may have been picked up by another individual after leaving the chicken house.

According to Jeal Salter with the Georgia Department of Corrections' Office of Public Affairs, Montgomery State Prison is a medium security prison that houses 407 offenders and has 92 employees.

Salter said that during the week, three officers transport and accompany 18 to 22 inmates on their work details. However, she said that on the weekend, only one officer transports and accompanies five to 10 offenders on their detail.

Department of Corrections records show that Eller is currently serving a 25-year sentence for over a dozen burglary convictions and other charges in 2012.

Although burglary is not typically considered a violent offense, Sheriff Maybin said that Eller should still be considered dangerous. He said that violent offense or not, offenders who escape don't want to be pushed into a corner and if they are, they may get desperate.

Mount Vernon resident Sharon Maxwell, said that when she heard the news Sunday that an inmate had escaped near her home, she was terrified for the safety of her injured mother and disabled daughter, both of whom she cares for in her home.

Maxwell said that after hearing that Eller is still on the run Monday, she is seriously considering purchasing a handgun for protection.

Sheriff Maybin is encouraging people in Montgomery County to be careful and vigilant. He said it is important to lock up your cars, dirt bikes, ATVs and another other vehicle that Eller could easily steal and get away with.

He also encouraged anyone who sees Eller to consider him dangerous and to call 911 immediately.

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