Escape brief for inmate

COVINGTON - A Newton County Detention Center inmate who was allowed to accompany investigators to a location near the Newton/Jasper line to help them with an investigation, escaped custody Friday morning. Her freedom was short-lived, however, and she was taken back into custody.

Judy Gail Hays, 23, of 12961 Ga. Highway 142 was being held on a charge of probation violation stemming from previous misdemeanor financial transaction fraud charges. She is now facing a felony charge of escape.

"At some point, the female was able to escape custody and made it to a residence just south of Newborn in Jasper County," NCSO spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the woman was known to be familiar with a residence near the Newton/Jasper line and investigators immediately went to that location. They were told that she was driven away in a blue, four-door SUV, possibly a Ford Explorer, to a residence in Jasper County on Gassert Road.

"We made entry into that residence and found the escapee hiding in a closet under some clothes," Mitchell said.

Hays was taken back into custody and transported to the Newton County Detention Center.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.