Sheriff looks to improve fencing following inmate escape



Jackson County Sheriff Rick Meyer is looking to upgrade barriers at the jail just days after an inmate escaped the jail for nearly 23 hours.

Meyer told commissioners Tuesday evening he plans to explore options of either adding fencing and new wire or a cage outside the door where the inmate escaped Friday.

Daniel C. Coomer escaped through an exterior door in the recreational area of the jail around 8:40 p.m. Friday.

He was captured around 7:20 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Bubba’s 33 restaurant in Clarksville after a night of burglary and theft.

Meyer said he has looked at adding a cage around the exterior door or adding razor wire to the current fencing.

With the cage, if an inmate were to escape again, they would be met with three sides of fencing and a fenced roof, Meyer said.

"As long as it is in our fire escape plan, we’re good for emergencies," he said, adding he has worked with the Seymour Fire Department on the plan.

Meyer said he was going to get price quotes on both options but felt that the cage was the best because of the price point and its reliability.

"I think it’s the most affordable and best solution," he said.

Any plan that the department would add would be paid for from the commissary fund, he said.

Meyer said there were no updates on the case, but that police were still investigating the matter.

Jailer Sheri Ray resigned Sunday from her position at the jail. Ray was in the control room when the door was unlocked, police said.

Meyer told The Tribune on Monday that he believed the door was unlocked by accident, but that police continued to investigate the case.

At the time of his escape, Coomer was being held at the jail on charges of driving while suspended, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, auto theft, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing endangerment and impersonation of a public servant.

Coomer now faces two burglary charges, three theft charges and charges for escape and possession of methamphetamine. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement.

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