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Sheriff: Two Logan County Inmates Walked Out Front Door; One Captured

LOGAN COUNTY (KFSM) — The Logan County Sheriff’s Office captured one of two escaped inmates Tuesday night (June 28). According to Sheriff Boyd Hicks...

LOGAN COUNTY (KFSM) -- The Logan County Sheriff's Office captured one of two escaped inmates Tuesday night (June 28).

According to Sheriff Boyd Hicks, Zackary Coffer, 19, was rearrested by deputies around 9:30 p.m. near Wiggins Drive in Paris. The other escaped inmate, Shaun Higham, 45, remains at large.

"Coffer was caught about half a mile from the detention facility, so in 12 hours they moved about half a mile," Hicks said. "We think that's because they both lost their shoes and are barefooted and it's just thick brush [out here]."

Both men were being held at the jail awaiting trial for separate crimes. Hicks said they escaped around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

The sheriff said Coffer and Higham were being held in protected custody, which means they were not with the general inmate population. The two men somehow picked the lock on the jail cell door and got into the detention facility office where they pushed a button that let them into the lobby, Hicks said. They were then able to walk out the front door.

Hicks said there were two jailers present in the facility at the time.

"The two jailers were busy handing out breakfast and the way the facility is built, there are certain areas that you can't see the other cells when you're in that area," the sheriff said.

Authorities are searching a wooded area one to three and a half miles west of the detention facility. They are also searching north of the jail. Hicks said he again requested help from the National Guard to use their helicopter and teams of search dogs are also on standby.

"With the chopper out, I think that hindered their movements quite a bit," he said.

Higham was last seen wearing a black and white striped jumpsuit, the sheriff said. Coffer was still in his inmate jumpsuit when he was captured, according to Hicks.

Authorities are advising people who live in the area to keep their vehicles and homes locked until Higham is captured.

"He could break into a house or a cabin and acquire a weapon," Hicks said. "And he used a weapon in the commission of his crime, so I would caution the public to consider him armed and dangerous."

The sheriff believes Coffer and Higham have been planning the escape.

"We have all the video and we'll be examining that to determine what happened and what changes we can make to keep it from happening again," he said.

Coffer was arrested after admitting to walking into ZA Food Mart in Magazine on April 10, 2015 with a loaded firearm and demanding money from the cash register, according to court records. He is also accused of breaking into a home in Booneville on April 5, 2015, court records show.

Coffer was scheduled to go before a jury on aggravated robbery and breaking or entering charges on July 15.

Higham was arrested after he admitted to robbing the Subiaco Federal Credit Union at gunpoint on June 12, 2015, according to court records. His jury trial was scheduled for July 22.

The escape comes less than two weeks before a special election on July 12 where voters will be asked to approve a one-cent sales tax for a new jail.

"There's just a lot of design flaws with the way [the jail is] built and laid out that contributes to things like this happening," Hicks said. "No sheriff wants someone to escape, but with a facility like this it's inevitable that something happened."

The current jail was built in the 1980s.

"Our hope is that folks will pass a sales tax to build a new facility that will be safe for the jailers and for the public," the sheriff said.