VIDEO shows inmates escaping Union Co. jail

UNION, SC (WSPA) – Newly released video shows two inmates escaping from the Union Co. Jail.

Ashley Tyler and Kenneth Lipsey were captured around 9am Saturday morning, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Department.

The escaped inmates were found around in a wooded area by Buffalo Creek.

Both now face an additional Escape charge which can carry up to a 15-year prison sentence.

At their bond hearings, the men were denied bond. Both are being moved to the Spartanburg County Detention Center which is a higher security facility.

The Sheriff’s Department says that a homeowner in the area spotted footprints with no shoes headed into the woods. Bloodhounds were sent to the area and eventually tracked down the two men, who were taken into custody without incident.

The two were previously held at the Union County Jail before escaping around 4pm Friday.

Sheriff Taylor says the two men shared a cell at the jail.

Before their escape, he says the men were in the recreation area. They took the chain link fence apart, got out, put a blanket over the concertina wire, pulled themselves up on top of the roof of the jail, and ran across the roof where they jumped off.

They escaped off the back of the jail. The Sheriff says they believe Tyler had been planning the escape for some time.

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UNION COUNTY, S.C. – The two inmates who escaped from the Union County Jail Friday remain at large.

The State Law Enforcement Division was brought in to help with its helicopter and search dogs.

Kenneth Steven Lipsey, Jr (left) and Ashley Tyler
Kenneth Steven Lipsey, Jr (left) and Ashley Tyler

Ashley Tyler, 40, and Kenneth Lipsey, Jr., 18, escaped the jail around 4:00 p.m. Friday.

Tyler has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.  Sheriff David Taylor says Tyler shot and killed his stepmother, Rebecca Tyler, November 2015.  He’s also a registered sex offender.

Linsey was arrested on meth charges.

Sheriff Taylor says the two men shared a cell at the jail.

Before their escape, he says the men were in the recreation area. They took the chain link fence apart, got out, put a blanket over the concertina wire, pulled themselves up on top of the roof of the jail, and ran across the roof where they jumped off.

They escaped off the back of the jail. The Sheriff says they believe Tyler had been planning the escape for some time.

“I’d like to say that we have a very secure facility but our facility was basically designed as a medium type security. Unfortunately, when you build a facility that’s not up to the standards that it needs to be, this is the outcome,” said Sheriff Taylor.

“We have tracked them to this area [Bailey Road] with our bloodhounds to the Buffalo community,” he said.

“The last thing we knew of these two individuals is they were wearing light grey and dark grey striped inmate pants.”

He said the men are believed to be shoeless. He said they don’t believe the inmates were able to get other clothes or access to a cell phone.IMG_0830

The Sheriff said the men were sighted within a half a mile of the Buffalo Fire Department, but went into a nearby creek before bloodhounds could get to them. He also says they believe the men crossed under Highway 176 through a pipe.

“One of them is wanted for murder so we know he doesn’t have any regard for human life so I would consider a murder suspect on the loose that has escaped a threat,” said Sheriff Taylor.

If anyone sees the men, they’re asked to call 911.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office is offering a reward for any information leading up to their capture.

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Union County Sheriff’s Office Facebook

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