Rutherford Co. Jail Deputy Disciplined For Mistake In Inmate Escape

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A Rutherford County Adult Detention Center employee allowed two inmates to escape, prompting a two-day long manhunt. She was suspended and placed on probation.

Deputy Beth Miles was suspended without pay from Oct. 19-30 and placed on probation for one year.

According to Rutherford Co. Sheriff's officials, Miles was serving as the Central Control operator when inmates Dewayne Halfacre and Jonathan Baxter allegedly assaulted another detention deputy on Oct. 10.

The injured deputy could be heard calling out for assistance on her radio and another employee alerted co-workers who rushed to help the injured deputy.

Also, the escapees pulled the fire alarm to cause an additional distraction.

While operating the doors for deputies responding to the injured deputy, Miles opened the exterior door at the bottom of the fire escape that exited onto the back loading dock of the warehouse. Miles failed to properly identify the people requesting entry into the secure area and the operator error allowed the inmates to escape.

Halfacre and Baxter were captured nd returned to the jail Thursday after a 35-hour manhunt from local, state and federal law enforcement officers and emergency responders.

Miles is being disciplined for failing to identify people requesting entrance into a secure area of the jail and maintaining the custody of inmates, which jeopardized the protection of citizens.

The order for jeopardizing standard security measures is defined as an intentional or unintentional action that violates standard security measures designed to maintain custody and containment of inmates and to provide protection for inmates, staff and citizens.

As part of the duties, the Central Control operator is responsible for operating secured doors and keeping a log of movement throughout the jail. The operator shall require identification of any person requesting entrance to a secure area.

Miles may be terminated for any future infractions. She has worked at the sheriff’s office nine years.

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