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Sheriff: Human, mechanical error led to escape

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PLAQUEMINE - Iberville Parish's sheriff said human and mechanical errors could have helped an accused murderer escape from the courthouse in Plaquemine during his trial today.

Deputies said Akeem Gailes, 26, got away during a lunch break by unlocking a holding cell. Once he got out of the cell he ran down three flights of stairs and through the back of the courthouse.

Gailes was captured about 30 minutes later three blocks from the courthouse, hiding under an empty house on Clay Street.

"No one was hurt," Sheriff Brett Stassi said. "We'll get to the bottom of what caused it. Make sure human error and locking mechanism is corrected."

The home Gailes was captured beneath was right next door to Ruby Mosby's house. She said she normally likes to sit outside, and today's events may change that.

"I feel bad cause I always sit in the back. Now I'm going to be scared to sit out," she said.

Investigators accused Gailes of shooting and killing a man he'd been fighting with during a Mardi Gras parade in Plaquemine.

The judge ordered a mistrial because of the escape, but the prosecution appealed the ruling. The jury chosen for the trial is being held until the appeal is decided.



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