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Violent S. Carolina prison escapees recaptured

Two violent inmates who escaped from a maximum-security prison in the back of a garbage truck were recaptured Thursday, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Two violent felons who escaped from a maximum-security prison by hiding on a trash truck were captured Thursday at a motel, state police said.

Johnny Brewer, a convicted murderer, and Jimmy Causey, a convicted kidnapper, had been on the loose since Tuesday, when they escaped from a Columbia prison. They were apprehended about 110 miles to the south, at a motel along busy Interstate 95 in Ridgeland, said Robert Stewart, chief of the state Law Enforcement Division.

Authorities did not immediately release details of the capture, but Judie Trainer said in a phone interview that she had her husband call authorities after she delivered the men a pizza at the Palms Motel.

Trainer said she first became suspicious when the man who called in the order said he would be in the shower when she arrived and would leave money on a table inside the room.

When there wasn’t enough on the table to pay the bill, Trainer called out to the man, who then “reached around the door with another five-dollar bill.” She said she got enough of a look at the man’s face to recognize him as one of the escaped convicts.

“I knew all along something wasn’t right,” Trainer said. “The thing about it is, I’m real lucky to be alive.”

Pat Smith, a maid at the motel, said Causey told the clerk when he checked in Tuesday night that his identification was in his car, and that the car had been towed.

“He was real friendly,” she said. “When they got [Brewer] in the cuffs, [Causey] said, ‘Can I get my money back?’ He said, ‘Can I get a refund?”’ Smith hadn’t seen Brewer before his arrest, she said.

Duo seen Tuesday
The pair had been seen Tuesday after their escape in a car authorities allege was driven by Ashley Bostic, 23, of Hopkins. Richland County authorities charged Bostic on Thursday with harboring an escaped convict.

According to arrest warrants, Bostic confessed to driving Causey and Brewer to Ridgeland to help them get away. The car was recovered Tuesday night in Orangeburg County, between Columbia and Ridgeland.

Steven Blair Goodwin, 26, and Kate Tilley, 21, both of Hopkins, also were charged with obstruction of justice and lying to police. Goodwin is Causey’s half-brother.

In 2004, Causey, 35, was convicted of holding Columbia attorney Jack Swerling and his family at gunpoint in their home in 2002. Brewer, 39, was convicted in 1999 for strangling his sister-in-law, Kelly Burbage, in 1994.