Sheriff halts trusty program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Covington County Sheriff’s Office trusty program is on hold indefinitely, Sheriff Dennis Meeks said Tuesday.

Meeks’ decision came after Zachery Obrien Chambers, an inmate given “trusty” status and assigned to the Andalusia Police Department, escaped Saturday.

Chambers was serving a 330-day sentence after being convicted of possession of marijuana. He’d been a trusty at the APD for less than a week when he executed his escape plan. His accomplice, 23-year-old Topeka Shanta Bryant, was seen on video driving a black Ford Taurus as she pulled up to the side of the APD and Chambers got in. Bryant was arrested and charged with permitting or facilitating an escape II, a Class “A” misdemeanor. She was released from the county jail Monday.

To date, Chambers remains at large.

Meeks said an estimated 20 inmates are utilized in both paid and unpaid trusty positions.

“Our paid work release inmates went out (Tuesday), but the trusty program, that’s on hold because of the escape, and I don’t know how long it will remain on hold,” he said.

Since Sunday, law enforcement officers have searched multiple residences around Andalusia; however, Lt. Paul Dean with the Andalusia Police Department said Tuesday that there was no new information as to Chambers’ whereabouts. Once found, Chambers will be charged with felony escape. Anyone with any information as to Chambers’ location is asked to contact the APD at 334-222-1155 or the county’s E-911 center at 334-428-4911.