Escapees head back to Liberty County Jail with new charges

Chance Hunt waits to be transported back to Liberty County. He and another prisoner, Clay Harvey, escaped the Liberty County Jail Tuesday morning but were captured around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in Shepherd.

A multi-agency manhunt for two escapees from the Liberty County Jail came to an end around 3 p.m. Tuesday when they were discovered in the Shepherd area.

The two men – Clay Sterling Harvey, 44, and Chance Marshall Hunt, 28 – were discovered missing during a routine bed check Tuesday morning. The men apparently cut a fence in the east side of the jail perimeter at the Liberty County Jail in Liberty.

The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office enlisted the help of Texas Rangers, Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Criminal Justice and constable’s offices to begin searching for the two men. The search extended into San Jacinto County with Sheriff Greg Capers and his sheriff’s deputies adding their support.

Around 3 p.m., an observant Shepherd resident called the SJCSO dispatch center to report that he had seen Hunt and Harvey in the wood line near Kathy St. in the Cherry Creek Subdivision.

“The caller said he watched the news report earlier this morning and said the two men who matched the description of the escapees’ including clothing details the men wore, and even watched as the men grabbed a chair from a residence to climb over a fence,” according to a statement from Det. Gary Sharpen, spokesperson for the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office.

As news of the sighting went out, authorities flooded the area to search for the escaped men.

Following several hours of dealing with the heat and unwavering environmental conditions, a San Jacinto County sheriff’s deputy found Harvey lying in the brush as he attempted to conceal himself from capture, Sharpen said. A K-9 unit with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office sniffed out Hunt who was roughly a block away from Harvey’s location.

Sheriff Greg Capers said afterward that the capture of the two escapees is a testament of local and surrounding agencies partnering together with the common goal of keeping citizens safe from these criminals. He also offer gratitude to the citizen who called in the tip.

Prior to Tuesday’s escapee, Harvey was being held in the Liberty County Jail on a $100,000 bond on a Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance charge. Hunt was being held without bond on charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Burglary of a Coin-Operated Machine and Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon.

More charges for the escape are pending.

Clay Harvey
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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