BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (NBC/WECT) — An inmate is back in custody Tuesday, after escaping from a North Carolina prison — by walking out the front door. Brunswick County prison security video shows William Earl Hewett walking right through the metal detectors on his way out of the facility last week, before officials started to follow him. Once outside the prison, Hewett sheds a coat and sprints for the woods in front of the prison.
While it looks pretty simple, it was actually an elaborate plan. William Hewett posed as his brother, Curtis Hewett, who was set for release that day. William Hewett was initially arrested on Jan. 21, accused of fleeing from officers in a stolen car. He also had warrants in other counties for several other charges, including assault and communicating threats.
Officials from the sheriff’s department say there were several things that the staff failed to do to make sure the right inmate was being released. One person has been fired, and there is more disciplinary action expected. The sheriff’s department has also charged Curtis Hewett for helping his brother escape.