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Escaping From Jail Before Being Convicted Is Only A Misdemeanor, Weakens Inmate Search

10:45 PM, Apr 4, 2013   |    comments
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Guilford County, NC-- The search efforts have decreased for the two inmates that escaped from the Guilford County Jail in High Point last month.

Originally when Jose Hernandez-Hernandez and Jose Idel Sid escaped from the High Point jail, the Guilford County Sheriff's office dedicated many resources to the manhunt. Major Tom Sheppard told us they have about 10 detectives on the case.

Read here: Search Continues For Two Guilford County Escaped Inmates

Now, three weeks later they have no idea where Hernandez and Sid are. They haven't gotten any new leads or tips despite the $5,000 reward.

"Once you have no leads, you really don't have much more you can do so you just, it's not technically suspended but you just wait until you have more leads come in," explained Maj. Sheppard.

WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford discovered another challenge this search has created. Because Sid and Hernandez were only charged with indecent liberties with a child and other similar offenses, escaping from jail is only a misdemeanor.

If a convicted inmate escapes from jail, then it becomes a felony.

"You would think logically that if a person is in jail for a felony and they escape, it would be a felony. If they're in jail for a misdemeanor and they escape, it would be a misdemeanor but that's not the way it works," explained Maj. Sheppard.

The fact that the inmates aren't convicted criminals also makes this escape less of a priority for other agencies.

Maj. Sheppard said, "It being a misdemeanor makes it more difficult to look for them because you don't have the power behind the felony that you would have normally and that's kind of what keeps some of the federal agencies from helping us. It's still just a misdemeanor, not a felony."

WFMY News 2 went to the address that was last on record for Hernandez and Sid. No one was home at either house, but News 2 talked to Jose Sid's neighbor.

Cosiman Scales said he used to see Jose Sid from time to time but never really talked to him.

"I really didn't know the guy. He stayed basically secluded and to himself. It wasn't like he was outside or a conversational person."

Scales said since the escape, there has been a huge police presence up and down his street but he doesn't think Sid would ever come back to the area after pulling a stunt like he did.

"That was kind of clever. I mean I think everybody wants to know the blueprint can get out of jail. I don't think nobody's sitting in there wanting to be sitting there. Like if they had an opportunity to get out, I don't think anybody's going to say hey, I'm just going to stay in here today," said Scales.

WFMY News 2

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