MADISON, W.Va – Justin Keith Branham, 33 from Alum Creek, W.Va reportedly escaped custody from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Monday, December 12 at approximately 12:20 p.m..
Chief Deputy Chad Barker said, “He was being transported on foot back from the courthouse to our holding facility.”
“The inmate ran from the officer watching him,” said Barker. “He was able to get one of his shackles loose and run when they were in between buildings.”
According to the magistrates office Branham was at the courthouse for a felony hearing. He was appearing before Magistrate Sam Burns.
Superintendent Jeff Huffman of Boone County Schools said Scott High School, Madison Middle and Madison Elementary went on a modified lockdown.
According to Huffman a modified lockdown is where students and staff can move about the building with their regular schedule, but no one is allowed in or out of the building.
After Branham’s escape Barker said, “He was on the loose for about two and a half hours.”
“He made it to the river and then into a large storm drain,” said Barker.
According to Barker, Branham was quite a distance in the storm drain when the officers located him.
Branham was arrested back in November for six felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.
The November criminal complaint reported Branham was allegedly arrested for fleeing an officer in a vehicle, two counts grand larceny, two counts conspiracy, entry of building other than dwelling, prohibited person with a firearm and driving suspended miscellaneous.
Barker said, “He has been charged with escape which is a felony punishable by five years in prison.”
“We had awesome help from the State Police, Madison and Danville Police and the fire departments of Madison and Danville as well as the Ambulance authority,” said Barker.
Heather Kinder is a reporter for the Coal Valley News. She can be contacted at 304-369-1165 ext. 1661, [email protected] or on Twitter @CVN_hkinder