apprehended, sheriff says jail is back to normal operations
prisoners from the Ripley County Jail are back in custody and
the jail is back to normal operations, according to Sheriff
Sunday morning, September 4, Stanley Short and Robert Huskey
both inmates at the jail, were able to escape through the fencing
in the recreation area.
Huskey was brought into custody after he was found at the Marathon
in Versailles trying to make a phone call. Sheriffs deputies
were able to take him into custody without incident after they
received a tip from a citizen.
Jeff Courter of near Versailles, ran out of cigarettes about
midnight on Sunday, and decided to go to the Marathon to pick
some up. That decision led to him finding the photo of the wanted
escapees on the counter at the Marathon. After he saw them,
registered their pictures in his brain, he went outside and
guess who was standing at the pay phone? Robert Huskey.
I looked past him, but thought he was acting suspicious,
Courter told The Versailles Republican in an exclusive
interview. He said Huskey just didnt act right. He
gave me a feeling...then I saw his orange sandals.
Courter called dispatch immediately where the girl asked if
he could hold. He told her his call was kind of important and
so she took the information.
Within minutes officers arrived and Huskey was taken back to
jail without any problems.
I dont know if I would have recognized him if I
hadnt just seen his picture, Courter noted. He said
the dead giveaway was the orange sandals!
Not feeling much like a hero, Courter told The Versailles
Republican he was just doing what anybody would have. He
did wonder why the sheriffs office doesnt have enough
manpower and thought perhaps with all the expense of looking
for the escaped prisoners that maybe some of that extra money
that was needed for an all out manhunt could have been put toward
additional jail staff. Its just something to think
about, he said, adding, I think the county could
come up with the money from somewhere (for additional jail staff
Sheriff Tom Grills brought the other escaped inmate to justice
about 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday. He was captured at the home of a
family member of Shorts near Sunman.
The sheriff told The Versailles Republican he felt that
he (Short) would eventually contact his family for assistance.
So the sheriff went to a residence on State Road 48 where he
located Short sleeping in a grass hopper (bagger) just a couple
hundred feet south of the house near the garden in some tall
The sheriff said when he arrived he found some definite things
out of place. He knew there was something amiss and began to
search more thoroughly. Short at first lied to him, saying he
was someone else. Eventually, he knew he had been caught and
the sheriff was able to take him in single-handedly.
The sheriff says the operations of the jail are back to normal
and he is working with the commissioners and the Indiana Department
of Correction (IDOC) to fix the fencing that was damaged and
make the recreation area more secure. They wont
get out of there again, he noted. He said the IDOC has
issued the jail excellent annual inspections since 2008.
The recreation yard was installed in 2003 and inspected
to meet requirements. It was revisited by administration at
the time the canopy was installed to cover the communications
center entrance. At that time administration felt it was adequate,
but we now know it was not, the sheriff said.
He went on to say, The problem has been addressed and
we do not anticipate any future issues. The jail staff responded
appropriately and followed proper procedure and protocol in
this incident to keep from having any further incidents in the
jail. The staff should be commended on their effort. The response
and operation to locate the escapees and bring them back into
custody went as good as could be expected under the circumstances.
I am proud of my team.
As to a previous story in the Osgood Journal where the prosecutor
asked why Huskey had not been taken to another facility already,
the sheriff responded. He said that it takes several days for
paperwork to get from the court system to the IDOC and back
to him. He simply holds the prisoners at the jail until the
IDOC is ready for them. Huskey was sentenced on September 1
the Thursday before the incident of escape on Sunday, September
Sheriff Grills also explained that there are several IDOC prisoners
in the Ripley County Jail at any given time. Were
a IDOC holder, he stated, meaning that the Ripley County
Jail houses inmates from the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Thats how they generate revenue and can hold up to 40
The sheriff said his office is overwhelmed. He noted that he
has repeatedly asked county officials for additional staff,
but has been denied. Ive spent all the money I had,
the sheriff said, referring to mostly commissary monies he has
used for a variety of needed things due to the county not having
the money for them.
He said he doesnt understand how the commissioners have
managed to save $8M for a new courthouse annex, but dont
have the money for public safety. Its a matter of
keeping the community safe, he concluded.