Sheriff: Human Error And Understaffing Led To Escape Of Convicted Murderer

By: KAKE News / Associated Press Email
By: KAKE News / Associated Press Email

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UPDATE: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The search continues for a convicted child killer who escaped from the Saline County Jail Monday afternoon,.

Antonio brown was supposed to be sentenced Tuesday in Saline County...

The Saline county sheriff blames Brown's escape on human error and understaffing at the jail.

The Saline county sheriff says Antonio Brown took advantage of a mistake Monday afternoon, when he escaped from jail. Somehow, the door in his holding cell was open.

"Something happened to keep that door open and we don't know if an officer pressed another button erroneously because they were trying to unlock another door. We don't know,” Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said.

While the sheriff says he doesn't know who's behind it or even what mistake was made, he says he does know Brown's escape is the result of understaffing at the jail.

“Something like this was bound to happen just because there are not enough people working,” Sheriff Kochanowski said.

When Brown was brought to the Saline county jail Monday, Sheriff Kochanowski says the booking area was busy and he simply doesn't have enough officers working.

“The workload in this facility is such that we need more officers working and we have been trying to get more officers for the 16 years I've been here,” Sheriff Kochanowski said.

A Saline county commissioner says they're waiting to see a full report on what happened at the jail to see if the escape was due to employee negligence or if the problem is understaffing.

But the report will have to wait. For now the sheriff's first priority is finding Antonio Brown and he says they and all the other agencies working with them have their work cut out for them.

“We have no idea right now exactly where he's at,” Sheriff Kochanowski said.

If you spot Antonio Brown or know where he is, don't approach him. Just call 911 immediately.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Officers continue to search for a convicted child murderer who escaped from the Saline County jail yesterday afternoon.

During a briefing Tuesday morning, Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said human error led to Antonio Brown's escape Monday.

Brown was being held in the Mitchell County Jail, but was brought to Saline County for a sentencing hearing that was supposed to take place today.

When he arrived at the jail, the normal cell was crowded so deputies placed him and two other inmates in what is considered the suicide holding cell. His shackles were removed when he was placed in the cell.

Sometime around 4 p.m., the holding cell that led to the sally port was accidentally left open, and Brown was able to get outside.

Once in the sally port, Brown followed an officer who was driving out without being seen. Deputies realized he was missing about 10 minutes later.

Authorities later reviewed surveillance cameras, and saw Brown walking northbound, but lost sight of him about half a mile from the jail.

The sheriff's department is working with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Kansas Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshal's Service and several local law enforcement agencies to find him.

Officials have no indication of Brown's current whereabouts, but say he has connections in Wichita, eastern Kansas and Oklahoma City.

An investigation is underway to find out where protocol broke down at the jail. Sheriff Kochanowski says this is the third escape since the jail opened in 1995. He says part of the problem is a shortage of jail employees.

Brown now faces a new charge of aggravated escape. If you have any information on the location of Antonio Brown, you're asked to call 911.



Monday, February 11, 2013

A Salina man convicted in the murder of a child escaped from jail Monday afternoon.

Officers are searching for 28-year-old Antonio M. Brown, Sr., who escaped from the Saline County Jail around 4:15 p.m. Monday afternoon.

He's described as a white man, dark complexion, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 158 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt, gray jail pants and Crocs shoes.

Last month, Brown pleaded no contest to first-degree murder in the 2011 beating death of 14-month-old Clayden Lee Urbanek.

He was scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow.

The child's mother, 21-year-old Brittney Betzold, was sentenced earlier this month to about 13 years in prison for second-degree murder and for not intervening to stop Brown from abusing the child before his death.

Brown should be considered extremely dangerous. Officers say that no one should confront Brown, but instead should call 911 immediately.


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