Authorities in Russell County searched Wednesday for an inmate who was inadvertently released from the jail the day before, Sheriff Heath Taylor said.
Cimarron Lamb had been arrested in connection with the robbery last week of the Rainbow Foods in Fort Mitchell, Ala., and was accused of driving the getaway car. Lamb had not yet been booked into the lockup, jail officials said, and he apparently was being detained in a holding cell with three inmates who were about to be released when the incident occurred.
"What happened was a mistake on our employees' part," Taylor said. "We had three inmates being released for time served and Lamb was in the same holding cell as them three. When it was time for those guys to be released, Lamb walked out with them and my officer didn't realize he wasn't supposed to be in the group."
Taylor said he thinks Lamb took off running "as soon as he hit the free air" because authorities "immediately started searching and he was not in the area."
"I am dealing with my employees," Taylor added, "and I anticipate suspensions and possible termination over the next few days."
Lamb had not been located by authorities as of late Wednesday evening.
Those with information about Lamb's whereabouts are asked to call 334-298-6535.
Taylor said Lamb is accused of dropping off Robert J. Gary and Nakavius D. Gary on Oct. 22 to rob the grocery store.
"He dropped them off and we caught them prior to them being picked back up," the sheriff said.
The Garys, cousins from Smiths Station, Ala., were found shortly after the robbery hiding under a nearby bridge.
Lamb also was to be charged in connection with a stalking case worked by Phenix City police, Taylor said.
Although Lamb was inadvertently released, the Russell County Jail has a history of escapes, one as recent as this spring. Three inmates escaped March 29 using an iron bar, a cinder-block wall, a maintenance hatch and a misplaced ladder. Charles Smith, who was captured the next day after allegedly committing a burglary in Ladonia, had been involved in an attempted escape in December 2011 that prompted a lockdown of the jail for more than a week.
Adam W. Barringer and John Curtis Hendrix were also captured later that same day, when a deputy recognized them heading south on U.S. 431 in another man's car, the sheriff said.