Hendricks Co. Jail escapee taken into custody

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. -- An inmate who escaped from the Hendricks County Jail Thursday was taken into custody in Greenwood Friday. 

Police found Wayne Mitchell, 32, Friday afternoon at the Greenwood Park Mall. 

Mitchell escaped Thursday night after he was at the inmate worker station in the garage at the Hendricks County Jail.

Authorities say he hid, stole a truck and drove away.

Mitchell has been in the jail since Dec. 18, awaiting a trial next week on a misdemeanor charge of violating a protective order.

Given that charge, the sheriff says he is allowed to serve as an inmate worker. 

Mitchell was allowed lenient supervision as the sheriff's office admits they were unaware of his lengthy record. 

In July 2015 Mitchell was convicted of auto theft, criminal confinement and domestic battery. 

According to a press release at the time, police received a call from the victim and were able to find her using her phone's GPS location. 

The deputy that arrived to the location allegedly saw Mitchell driving through a field. When he was stopped, officers found the victim in the car. She was crying and scared, and told police Mitchell had choked her, hit her in the head, and hit her head against the window, according to the release. 

"Normally that kind of paperwork comes when we get a transfer in. Apparently, I'm told, in the last 30 minutes that we did not get that paperwork. That's certainly not to cast blame on anybody but us, I take full responsibility for this, and again, we're going to get to the bottom of it," Hendricks County Sheriff Brett Clark said. 

Mitchell now faces additional charges of escape from lawful detention and auto theft. 

"I have no clue what genius would consider a repeat-offender habitual felon, with 23 commitments to the IDOC, who is serving an 8.5 year sentence, and who has a proven history of violence, of auto theft, and of escape, to be a good candidate for such a program. I am happy to see that he is back in custody -- where he should have been all along," Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen said. 

The inmate worker program has been suspended while an investigation takes place. 


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