FARMVILLE, Va. (WRIC) – Five Piedmont Regional Jail security guards were fired after an investigation prompted by two back-to-back escapes at the jail found they did not properly follow the facility’s supervision policies, the jail’s superintendent said.
Two men escaped from the jail a day apart at the end of April, sparking a manhunt that ended with one man being arrested in Mexico and another turning himself in while on the campus of Longwood University.
Alder Marin Sotelo, a 26-year-old accused of fatally shooting Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd in August 2022 who was awaiting trial on his first-degree murder charge, was able to escape on April 30 after breaking an exterior door’s lock and getting over a fence.
Less than 24 hours later, Bruce Callahan, a 44-year-old convicted on federal drug charges, was able to escape from the jail through the same door Sotelo used.
Sotelo was later arrested by Mexican authorities south of the border and Callahan turned himself in on the campus of Longwood University, less than three miles away from the jail.
Jerry R. Townsend, the Piedmont Regional Jail Authority’s superintendent, told 8News in a brief phone interview Wednesday that two supervisors were demoted, and seven other employees were disciplined.
Five guards were also fired for not complying with the jail’s procedures on supervising those held at the facility, including not conducting or failing to properly conduct at least seven counts during the time in which Sotelo escaped.
Townsend did not share who was fired, telling 8News it was “confidential” but that the staffing decisions were made after a “thorough investigation.”
Stay with 8News for updates.