Inmate escapes for 18 minutes

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Wade Glenn Matthis

A 19-year-old escaped from the Van Zandt County jail for 18 minutes June 15.

According to information from Sheriff Lindsey Ray, at 4:52 p.m. Monday, June 15, Wade Glenn Matthis broke out of the jail by scaling a 12-foot perimeter security fence topped with razor wire.

Matthis then ran into a wooded area north and west of the sheriff’s office traveled west about half of a mile and emerged on Hwy. 64 “where he was arrested without incident at 5:10 p.m.,” the sheriff said.

“Sheriff’s deputies were establishing a search perimeter at the time of his arrest,” Ray said. “An inmate count was conducted immediately after the escape and it was determined that all other inmates were present and accounted for.”

Mathis is in jail pending trial for three charges of possession of controlled substances, felony theft and evading arrest or detention. Bond on those charges is set at $165,000.

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He was previously incarcerated in Smith County for possession of controlled substance in a Drug-Free Zone and a misdemeanor drug charge.

After his re-capture, Mathis was taken back to the Van Zandt County Jail where an additional charge of Escape, a third degree felony, was filed, Ray said.

He is awaiting arraignment on the additional charge.