Escaped inmate last seen in Lowndes

| June 23, 2016

By Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News

CLINCH CO. – Officials across South Georgia are searching for an escaped inmate, Michael Chance Copeland, 31. He escaped from the Clinch County Jail in Homerville nine days ago. We’re taking a closer look at how he escaped, and it turns out, this isn’t his first time.

Deputies showed us the holding cell where Michael Chance Copeland escaped Monday from the Clinch County Jail.

“He went up into the roof of the Sheriff’s Office.”

Chief Deputy Raymond Peterson says Copeland chiseled a hole, climbed through the ceiling, and made his way out of the Sheriff’s Office.

“He went out before near the same way,” Peterson says.

michael copeland 2

This was Copeland’s third time escaping from the Clinch County facility.

“He has been known to steal vehicles and property from others for drugs, but as far as worrying about him, you may need to worry about your property. As far as anything else? No,” Chief Deputy Peterson says.

Residents like Cary Kight say they’ve seen deputies and troopers searching for Copeland outside their homes.

“It’s kind of an uneasy feeling knowing that there’s a criminal out there freely just running around,” says Kight.

Copeland was in custody awaiting trial on probation violations. He’s now a wanted man.

Kight says the fact that Copeland was able to escape three times is unacceptable.

“There’s always people escaping from the jail up here and they need to do something about the security because people keep on breaking out. It happens frequently,” Kight says.

Chief Deputy Peterson says, “We’ll just look into what we need to do to take care of the situation, but it will be addressed.”

Until then, residents remain on high alert, making sure loved ones and property are safe.

Clinch County officials say Copeland was last seen recently in Lowndes County — where he’s originally from.


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