A Kellyton man is facing 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges he committed following his escape from the Coosa County Jail in November 2017.
Shane Anthony Vernon, 29, was sentenced last Thursday, according to a release from United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr.
Following his prison sentence, Vernon will be subject to five years of supervised release, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. There is no parole in the federal system.
The federal charges in this case stemmed from crimes Vernon committed in Elmore County on Nov. 20, 2017 after escaping jail the day before.
In Elmore County, Vernon stole two vehicles from the owners at gunpoint. When he stole the second vehicle, he forced the owner to ride with him, the release stated. They traveled to a city near Atlanta in Georgia where Vernon released the owner of the vehicle then fled.
The following day, law enforcement in DeKalb County, Georgia responded to a suspicious person call at an apartment complex where officers found Vernon and he was apprehended. At that time, DeKalb County authorities charged him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana less than an ounce, possessing an open container and giving a false name.
Then-Coosa County Sheriff Terry Wilson said it appeared an electrical malfunction at the Coosa County Jail allowed Vernon to escape. Vernon had escaped authorities the month before but was recaptured the following day.
When Vernon was recaptured, Elmore County District Court Judge Glenn Goggans set a $6 million cash bond which officials said was the largest bond they could recall in Elmore County.
Vernon was originally charged with eight felony charges, including one count of kidnapping, two counts of carjacking, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The 15-year federal sentence will run consecutive or back-to-back to any prison time he will serve on related state charges, Franklin said.
The Coosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also assisted in the case. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua J. Wendell prosecuted the case.
Here is a timeline of events from events in 2017, according to authorities:
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017
2:30 p.m.: Vernon escaped from the Coosa County Jail for the second time in three weeks through a door that had not been secured.
4:30 p.m.: Vernon invaded a home on Highway 231, terrorizing and tying up residents. He stole clothes, guns and a 2016 Ford Fusion from that residence.
8:30 p.m.: The Ford Fusion was found abandoned near Living Waters Baptist Church on Elmore County Road 80 near the Coosa-Elmore county line.
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017
10:30 a.m.: Vernon, armed with a handgun, invaded a home on Grass Farm Road near Titus, tied up a woman and her husband and locked the woman and a child in a closet. At the home he stole a 2005 silver Chrysler Pacifica with a firefighter tag. He also took cash, clothing and possibly another weapon.
5:30 p.m.: Vernon kidnapped William Richard McCord, 67, from his house on Bradley Road and also took the victim’s vehicle, a black Grand Prix GT-2. Officials searched the area all night looking for signs of the vehicle, the victim and Vernon.
Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017
6:55 a.m.: Vernon dropped McCord off unharmed in Douglasville, Georgia. McCord made it to a police station to get help. The victim’s Grand Prix was found abandoned and there was no sign of Vernon.
Multiple agencies including the Coosa County Sheriff’s Office, Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the State K-9 Tracking Team, the ALEA Aviation Unit and the United States Marshal’s Office were involved in the search. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Douglasville Police Department, Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation were also involved in the search. Wilson said U.S. Marshals coordinated what he called a nationwide search.