WHAT HAPPENED?

Texas County Sheriff James Sigman said a murder suspect’s escape from his jail was the result of ‘human error’ and ‘failure to follow protocol.’ In a Friday afternoon news release, Sigman said two jail employees were fired for their actions that allowed Daniel G. Campbell, 39, to run out a propped open back door Nov. 14 at the Texas County Jail. Campbell was arrested 16 hours later following a multi-agency manhunt.

“This incident occurred as a result of very basic rules and protocols not being followed,” Sigman said. “All efforts will be made to assure an incident like this never happens again.”

Sigman said the facility, which was completed in 2010, was not to blame for Campbell’s escape. He is the first inmate to do so.

“There’s nothing wrong with the building. It is a very well built and secure facility,” Sigman said. “When something like this happens, it’s simply due to human error.”

Sigman detailed the events that led to Campbell’s escape.

A construction crew was making repairs that day on a padded cell located at the end of the intake hall inside the jail, Sigman said. It is near a door that enters the sally port, which was open at the time. Between 5:19 and 5:33 p.m., Sigman said a worker with the construction company placed a bucket in the doorway entering the sally port, preventing the secure door from latching.

At 5:33 p.m., Sigman said a correctional officer released Campbell from his cell, which was located in the intake hallway, to use the phone. Sigman said the officer did not secure Campbell to the bench by use of a leg iron, which is protocol.

After a few minutes on the phone, Sigman said at approximately 5:38 p.m., Campbell hung up the phone, ran down the hallway, through the propped open door and out the sally port. Sigman said officers did not see which direction Campbell ran.

Campbell remained on the run until 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, when he stopped at an acquaintance’s home between Roby and Success for water and a sandwich. The homeowner contacted authorities, and Sigman arrested Campbell without incident in the person’s yard.

Sigman said the mistakes made by jail employees have been addressed internally. He said he will take further steps with all remaining personnel.

“As this office moves forward from this event, I will be implementing a training refresher for all correctional officers,” Sigman said, “and new safeguards will be put into place in the event we have to use an outside source for construction or repairs in the future.

“I ask that the citizens of Texas County continue to support their local law enforcement and know that my command staff and I will work diligently to correct all wrongs that led up to this escape.”

ESCAPE TIMELINE

A look at the moments that led to Daniel Campbell’s escape Nov. 14 from the Texas County Jail:

• 5:19-5:33 p.m. — Construction crew is making repairs on a padded cell at the end of the intake hallway. A worker props the doorway to the sally port with a paint bucket.

• 5:33 p.m. — Campbell is released from his cell to use the phone. He is not secured to the bench by a leg iron.

• 5:38 p.m. — Campbell hangs up the phone and runs down the hallway, through the propped open door and out the sally port. Its secure garage door is also open.

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