Man escapes Dallas County Jail for second time

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Michael Christian escaped from the Dallas County Jail early Monday for the second time in 31 days.



The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Dallas County Jail at about 7:10 a.m. that Christian had again escaped through the jail’s ceiling. He broke through a ceiling area where inmates aren’t allowed to walk and walked through a door that should have been secured and walked out of the jail unnoticed, according to Sgt. Mike Granthum with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office.

“He has spent a 20 something years in the state penitentiary, so he is familiar with the correctional facility and procedures,” Granthum said. “He saw a weak link in the chain, and he took advantage of it.”

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A guard spotted him once he left the perimeter of the jail and was able to alert deputies of which direction he went, Granthum said.

Christian was on high-level security, and his trustee status was revoked after the Nov. 28 escape incident.

Deputies received information that Christian was probably in Sardis. He was found there Tuesday morning, hiding in the closet of an abandoned house. He didn’t resist arrest once deputies located him.

The sheriff’s office has no reason now to believe Christian was assisted in his escape, and no one was injured in the incident, according to Granthum.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office said the incident is still under investigation, but it has reason to believe it may have been an officer error.

“We do have video surveillance at the jail, and it is being analyzed right now,” Granthum said. “If we do find out that it was an officer error, he will be brought before the sheriff, and he will be disciplined.”

Granthum said Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman has increased security over the past several years at the jail by placing an electric fence around the area.

Christian is now under an even more strict high-level security, which requires more cell checks, Granthum said.

According to District Attorney Michael Jackson, Christian will appear in court for a bond hearing Monday afternoon at the Dallas County Courthouse.

“The evidence is pretty heavy in this case,” Granthum said. “We’re confident that a conviction will come back in this case.”

When Christian escaped from the jail the first time, he was serving work detail and dropped from the ceiling and into the lobby, which is not a secure area.

After the suspect allegedly stole a truck from River Road and visited his father’s home, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and Cuba Police Department arrested Christian the following day at a rest stop on Interstate 20/59.

Before the most recent escape, Christian was in the Dallas County Jail under first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary, second-degree escape,and first-degree theft of property charges. He was charged with another count of second-degree escape Tuesday.