Officers search for 2 escaped Gibson Co. inmates

TRENTON, Tenn. — A convicted sex offender and a suspected thief on the run in Gibson County after breaking out of jail. This is the second time in less than a week deputies have searched for inmates who made it out too soon. Jason clapper and Joseph Isbell escaped from the Gibson County Jail Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. while they were in a fenced in recreation area. “They’re monitored periodically by the guards and when the guards came out to check on them there were two missing,” Gibson County Sheriff Paul Thomas said. The small area is surrounded by brick walls, a tall chain link fence and of course barbed wire topped with razor wire but Jason Clapper and Joseph Isbell were still able to escape. “Maybe scaling the fence right where it ends up next to one of the walls,” Sheriff Thomas said. “They may have been able to push aside the Constantine wire just enough to squeeze between the wire and the wall.” Deputies searched the area around the jail, even bringing in K-9 units from other agencies to track the pair. It’s the second time in less than a week that inmates have made it out of this jail. Last week an inmate was mistakenly released. “Monitoring electronic equipment or monitoring people, there’s going to be human error,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately in our line of work when we have human error people relate that to being incompetent.” Deputies say in this instance the suspects got the better of them. “We don’t have an incompetent staff,” Sheriff Thomas said. “But we do have almost 300 people incarcerated here and a lot of them spend all day every day trying to figure out how to get out.” The Sheriff Thomas said he knows his department will find Clapper and Isbell, but said they should have never gotten out in the first place. “If we have something good here I like a pat on the back but if we have something bad here I own up to it,” Sheriff Thomas said. “It untimely falls on my shoulders not my staff and I take full responsibility for it.” Both Isbell and clapper were serving time for violation of probation charges. The two are not believed to have weapons but the Sheriff said anyone who goes to this length to escape should be considered dangerous. Anyone who sees the men is urged not to approach them but to call the sheriff’s office immediately at 731-855-1121.

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