Crime & Courts

Alexander inmate faces new charges after escape

A state inmate who escaped for several hours from a work detail in Alexander County was captured Friday and now faces additional charges, North Carolina prison officials said.

Michael Brown, 51, is accused of driving away from his work assignment near Taylorsville. He was captured by a prison guard and search dog shortly before 7 p.m. in a wooded area near the Alexander-Catawba County line.

A resident had spotted Brown in the area, near N.C. 16, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Public Safety.

Acree said Brown, an inmate at the Alexander Correctional Institution, will face charges of escape from custody and larceny of a motor vehicle. He already had almost four years remaining on an 8-year, 5-month sentence for breaking and entering and habitual felon status.

Authorities said Brown was assigned to work at the Alexander County Animal Shelter.

Sometime after 2:30 p.m. Friday, authorities said, Brown drove off in a county-owned truck. The truck was found late Friday afternoon on Burgess Road, off N.C. 16. That is near where Brown was spotted by a resident Friday evening.

N.C. prison records show Brown has a lengthy history of convictions, mostly for breaking and entering, dating to 1984.