After killing the two guards, who were unarmed, the two searched for the key to open their friend's cell but couldn't find it and fled, authorities said.
Guards Leon Egly, 33, a Huntsville city councilman and jail supervisor, and Jason Acton, 36, a jail guard on the job for two months, were both shot repeatedly with a pistol.
Suspects Michael Tisius, 19, and Tracie Bulington, 27, were captured unarmed about nine hours later after being spotted walking along a highway 130 miles away. Both have been charged with murder.
Authorities said the suspects were trying to free Bulington's boyfriend, Roy Vance, who had recently been transferred from the Macon County Jail after an attempted escape. Vance had been in the Macon jail 15 times on drug and property damage charges. Bulington had been in and out of jail on charges including drug offenses, authorities said.
Randolph County Sheriff Don Ancell said jailers routinely let people in to the jail unless they look dangerous.
"People stop in at all hours," he told The Associated Press. "If they're not standing there with a gun in their hand, they let them in."
After the shooting, the jail's 36 prisoners were moved to other jails. Ancell said he will keep the jail shut until a bulletproof barrier can be installed.
Egley and other community members had been pushing for a new jail with increased security. Voters have repeatedly defeated ballot measures to pay for a new jail, most recently in November.
Source: The Associated Press
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