Husband, wife recall finding escaped inmate in hunting cabin

Husband, wife recall finding escaped inmate in hunting cabin
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)
(Source: Alabama Department of Corrections)

COFFEE CO., AL (WSFA) - A Florida man and woman who discovered escaped inmate Jeffrey Scott in their hunting cabin Friday shared their frightening experience.

Scott escaped from the Loxley Work Release Center in Mobile a month ago. He was captured Friday night at a hunting cabin in the Ariton area near the Coffee-Dale county line.

Clayton Wells, who owns the hunting cabin, had no idea there was an escapee on the run. He was just making a routine check on the cabin when he found Scott inside.

Clayton Wells said Scott was walking by the door as he was coming in. Scott had on a fanny pack and had a night light and knife in his hand.

Wells was carrying a gun.

"I told him 'd rop the knife,' and he wouldn't so I finally fired a shot, and he threw the knife by the sink. He has a fanny pack on and that point he starts reaching for the fanny pack, and I said 'keep your hands away from the pack.' He said I just want a cigar. I said 'you're not getting anything out that pack' and I said 'I'll shoot you if you don't comply with what I'm telling you'," Clayton Wells said.

Clayton Wells' wife, who was in the car, also drew her weapon and called 9-1-1.

"All I could think of he's fixing to go after and grab that gun, because my husband is pointing the gun and he's [3 feet away]. All he had to do was lunge at him, and that's why I felt that second gun really helped," Jennifer Wells said.

Wells shot a second warning shot after Scott reached for his fanny pack again.

"Eventually, after the second shot, he got down on his hands and knees and crawled. I got him down on the porch and got the fanny pack away from him and within a couple minutes the sheriffs department arrived," Clayton Wells said.

The couple is thankful law enforcement arrived quickly.

"If he didn't have that gun on him, I'm not sure the outcome would've been good. I don't feel like it would've been because he was going to get in that car I guarantee that was on his mind. He was going to take that car from us somehow," Jennifer Wells said.

Clayton is retired, but he's worked in federal and state correction systems. He's seen a lot, but he's never experienced anything like this.

"They did a great job getting here. Floyd came up, I already had him on the ground. Floyd cuffed him and then at that point it was almost like passing out from the adrenalin rush," Clayton said.

To thank the Wells family for finding this escapee and turning him in, the U.S. Marshals Service is giving them a $1,000 reward. They plan to donate that money to the Coffee County K9 Unit.

Scott has been transported back to a correctional facility in the Mobile area.

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