SHERIFF: Escaped inmate found hiding in camper on family's property

RAW: Sheriff John Ingram talks about capture of escaped inmate
William Hewett (Source: BCSO)
William Hewett (Source: BCSO)
Officials say Hewett was found hiding in this camper. (Source: WECT)
Officials say Hewett was found hiding in this camper. (Source: WECT)
Inside view of the camper Hewett was hiding in. (Source: WECT)
Inside view of the camper Hewett was hiding in. (Source: WECT)
Inside view of the camper. (Source: WECT)
Inside view of the camper. (Source: WECT)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Officials with the Brunswick County Sheriff's office captured William Earl Hewett, an inmate who escaped from jail last week, around 6:45 Tuesday morning.

According to Sheriff John Ingram, deputies executed a search warrant of the family's compound on Trails End Drive in Southport. They found William Hewett hiding in a camper on the edge of the property in an area that was covered with weeds and several junk items.

Ingram said William Hewett was likely hiding in the camper for at least two days.

He was taken into custody without incident and charged with escaping from a county or municipal facility. Hewett was also charged with burning personal property and injury to personal property stemming from an incident on Dec. 12, 2014. Hewett was given a $3 million bond.

According to the sheriff's office, the following individuals were also taken into custody and charged with accessory after the fact and harboring a fugitive. All six were each given $1.5 million bonds:

  • Katherine Hewett Carter, mother, was also charged with drug paraphernalia.
  • Earl A. Carter, stepdad, was also charged with possession of marijuana.
  • Caitlin Olivia Moyer, girlfriend
  • Tanna Lynn Hewett, aunt
  • Robert Wayne Hewett, cousin
  • Audrey Muncey Thompson, family friend

Additionally, several animals were found on the compound that had not been cared for. Officials called in Animal Services who took eight pit bulls, one miniature horse and four other dogs from the property.

William Hewett, 22, was initially arrested Jan. 21 in Brunswick County after fleeing from deputies in a stolen Honda Civic. He was wanted in Brunswick and Richmond counties on various assault charges, as well as first-degree kidnapping and communicating threats.

Ingram said William Hewett escaped the detention center around 4 p.m. Jan. 29, 2015 by posing as his brother, Curtis Hewett. Ingram explained the brothers switched armbands while being held in the same cell, and William presented himself as Curtis, who was in jail on a charge of assaulting a female, when he bonded out of jail. Curtis admitted to their plan, according to Ingram. He was charged for helping his brother on Friday.

After going through the release process posing as Curtis, William then ran from the detention center into a wooded area in front of the courthouse.

A jailer who was on duty at the time of William's escape has been fired. Officials say Corporal Ashley Nicole Harrell was responsible for processing inmates as they were released and had been working with the detention center for nearly a year.

As the investigation into the security breakdowns at the jail continues, Ingram says he doesn't anticipate any other terminations but does expect to take further disciplinary action.

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