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Jed Ellis found 2 1/2 hrs. later five miles away Correctional officer attacked in Saturday morning jail escape

Jed Everett Ellis

by Teresa Eubanks, Journal Editor

It’s not the first time he escaped from the Liberty County Jail, but this time, someone was badly injured.

Jedadiah “Jed” Everett Ellis, 32, is facing charges of attempted felony murder, resisting an officer with violence and escape after he bolted from custody.

Correctional Officer John Sendoya was working alone Saturday morning when he was repeatedly punched in the face by inmate Jed Ellis, who then fled from the jail in Bristol. The assault left Sendoya with broken bones in his nose and cheek. He also had injuries to his right forearm and left hand.

Sendoya was transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and was discharged after an overnight stay.

Just before noon on Dec. 10, a K-9 tracking team from Liberty Correctional Institution and Liberty County Deputy Daniel Deason caught up with Ellis along Ray Ellis Road in the White Springs area, about five miles from the jail.

While in custody in early June, Ellis left the jail - and the county - after kicking out an air conditioning unit and crawling through the wall. He was found the next morning in Tallahassee walking along the Tennessee Street area.

This time he used the keys he took from the correctional officer to make his escape around 9:40 a.m. by slipping out the door that opens into the recreation yard. Surveillance video shows Ellis climbed up onto the courthouse roof and disappeared.

HIT WITH CELL DOOR;

PUMMELED BY INMATE

According to a report from the sheriff’s office, Sendoya opened Ellis’ cell that morning to hand him a broom and dust pan. Ellis then charged the door, knocking the officer back.

When Sendoya tried to close the door, Ellis hit the door once again, causing the officer to fall backwards a second time. When Ellis emerged from the cell, he started “pounding” on the officer with his fist, according to Sendoya’s statement.

During the attack, Ellis slammed the door on the officer’s left hand and his right arm. He suffered massive swelling of his face and hand.

The officer tried to restrain the inmate but started to lose consciousness.

After hearing a commotion in the confinement unit of the jail, Correctional Officer Jennifer Barber went to see what was going on.

She walked in to find the injured correctional officer. The door to the cell that had held Ellis was open. There was blood on the floor and walls throughout the cell. Sendoya told her Ellis had taken off with his jail keys.

Before he was able to open the door to the rec yard, Ellis tried to get out through an air conditioning duct. Blood was found on the door next to the duct. One of the inmate’s shoes was left at the duct; the other was found in his cell.

Surveillance video caught him going out of the door to the recreation yard.

CATCHING A RIDE

Ellis quickly made his way to the Chevron store at the intersection in Bristol, barely a block from the jail.

Wearing a white shirt and red gym shorts, Ellis approached a couple in the store’s parking lot and asked where they were going. When told “we’re not going anywhere at this time” Ellis crossed SR 20 and asked a customer there for a ride to White Springs.

Moments after leaving, the man at the Chevron store discovered Ellis had escaped from jail and went to stop the second man that he had seen him speaking with. It was too late. The vehicle with the two men was already at the traffic light, heading east on SR 20.

Deputies, K-9 units from both prisons and FHP set up a perimeter around Ray Ellis Road, where the escapee was taken into custody and the jail keys were found in his possession.

Ellis is being held in the Gadsden County Jail.

PREVIOUS ESCAPE

Ellis was arrested Jan. 30, 2016 on charges of trespassing, exposure and possession of drug paraphernalia after he was found in a camper next to a residence in Hosford. The owner had repeatedly told him to leave and stay off the property.

He was considered a minimum custody inmate and served as a jail trustee, but was sometimes placed in confinement because he could not get along with other inmates.

He escaped on June 5 after kicking an air conditioner out of the wall at the jail. He was picked up the next day in Tallahassee.

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