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S.C. inmate caught in Austin, used drone & dummy to escape prison

SOUTH CAROLINA — He could run, but he couldn’t hide.

The prisoner, Jimmy Causey, 46, was apprehended at a Texas hotel around 3 a.m. ET Friday after South Carolina authorities notified police in Texas, according to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel.

Causey had a semi-automatic pistol, a pump shotgun, $47,654 in cash and four cell phones on him at the time of his capture, Keel said.

Causey escaped from Lieber Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Ridgeville, South Carolina, about 8 p.m. Tuesday, said Bryan Stirling, director of the corrections department.

He had previously escaped from a prison in Columbia in 2005 and was caught three days later.

He is serving a life sentence for kidnapping.

For his latest escape, he used a makeshift dummy to fake out staff so it would appear he was still in his bed, and prison officials didn’t verify he was gone until about 2 p.m. the next day, Stirling said.

Causey used a cell phone in the escape, and investigators believe a drone flew in the wire cutters. Causey cut through at least four fences with the wire cutters, Stirling said.

It’s unclear how he got from South Carolina to Texas, but officials said they are hoping to figure that out during their investigation.