Inmate remains on the loose after jail escape

June 29, 2011 2:49:09 AM PDT
An inmate who escaped from the Walker County Jail Tuesday morning is still on the run. Authorities say the man is considered armed and dangerous. Trent De'Ray Archie, 29, was serving time in jail the past two weeks on a possession of narcotics charge. Archie was brought to the booking department to use the phone at around 3am Tuesday, claiming he needed to call his mother who delivers newspapers overnight, when authorities say a fight broke out.

"He was being chased by jailers. He overpowered a male jailer then pushed two female jailers to the side," said Chief Deputy Butch Davis of the Walker County Sheriff's Office.

Archie ran through the front doors, which lock electronically, but malfunctioned.

Investigators are now saying they believe Archie may have planned this escape.

Authorities told us they believe Archie is still in the Huntsville area. They searched the nearby subdivision of Forest Hill, which is about two miles south of the jail.

"His clothing was thrown up on the roof of the garage; an orange jumpsuit and a white T-shirt," said neighbor Ruth Bryant. "It was unmistakable clothing and it was unmistakable that it had been thrown up there. And I knew my neighbor didn't do that."

Authorities say they are pursuing a tip concerning Archie's whereabouts, but they have not been able to verify that tip.

"We have information that he may have a gray Toyota passenger car and there could possibly be a 9mm pistol in the vehicle at this time," said Chief Deputy Davis.

It is not known what Archie is wearing at this point or how he came in contact with that vehicle.

Convenience store employees at the store off the freeway say authorities stopped here to check surveillance video and place wanted posters.

"A lot of people come in here and say, 'Yeah I know him' or 'Yeah I know his family.' Some say he's still here, others say he's gone. It's all hearsay," said clerk Deborah Kimble.

Meanwhile, Archie's mother cried and said Archie did not call her this morning and she doesn't know her where her son is now.

"When your kids get hooked on drugs, I don't know how long it takes for them to come through their system, but he's scared," said the suspect's mother Jackie Archie.

She cried as she pleaded for her son to turn himself in.

"I love him and I want him to come back," Jackie Archie said. "I didn't see it coming. I just didn't see it coming."

Archie stands 6-foot-1 and weighs about 190 pounds. He has brown eyes and was wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts. Archie has a dragon tattoo on his right arm stretching from his elbow down to his wrist.

Archie was being held on a drug charge and was awaiting a new trial after a 2006 murder conviction was overturned.

Authorities say Archie has been in jail before. He has a lengthy criminal history dating back 13 years. They say he is from the Huntsville area. They are expanding their search into Harris County.

At this point, there are several agencies working this case. Inmate phone calls are recorded at the jail and are being reviewed by authorities.

Archie is armed and dangerous, authorities say, and anyone who comes in contact with him is urged to call 911 and not confront him.

Stay with Eyewitness News and for the latest on this story.

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