A woman who tried to help a Bulloch County Jail inmate escape on Christmas Day has been arrested, according to the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators working with the U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Task Force arrested Taziha Burnette, 22, of Jonesboro, in Clayton County on Thursday in connection with the attempted jailbreak by Tahjz Michael Irving, 23, of Laurel Park in Riverdale, Ga., Sheriff Lynn Anderson said in a news release issued Friday.
Sheriff's investigators identified Burnette as the individual who cut into the fence around the jail and damaged a window in Irving's cell during the escape attempt, Anderson said.
Burnette was booked into the Bulloch County Jail and charged with assisting a person in custody to escape, crossing guard lines with prohibited items, first-degree criminal damage to property, interference with government property and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.
She is held without bond pending further judicial action.
Irving has remained incarcerated at the jail charged with criminal attempt to escape, interference with government property, first-degree criminal damage to property, making false statements and writings, crossing guard lines with prohibited items and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.
On Dec. 25, deputies assigned to the sheriff's office Jail Division noted damage to an exterior jail cell window. Deputies removed the inmates occupying that cell, including Irving, and an investigation into the damage was begun in accordance with jail policy, Anderson said Tuesday.
Further examination of the area revealed damage to the security fence surrounding the cellblock. The scene was processed as a crime scene, and the case turned over to the Criminal Investigations Division.
After interviewing multiple inmates and reviewing jail records, investigators determined that a second suspect had cut the fence and helped Irving damage the exterior cell window in an attempt to escape, Anderson said.
The window, designed to withstand damage and such attempts to escape, worked as it was supposed to, Anderson said, adding that quick action by jail deputies prevented further damage.
Irving was arrested in October on warrants issued by university police charging him with burglary, kidnapping, simple battery and criminal trespass stemming from a November 2012 incident at Eagle Village. No bond had been set for Irving at the time of his escape attempt.
University police reported in November 2012 that five unknown subjects entered a room at Eagle Village without consent, physically assaulted several occupants and took their cellphones. Irving still faces those charges in addition to those stemming from the jailbreak attempt, Anderson said.
Anderson thanked U.S. Marshals task force its work in locating Burnette on her outstanding warrants. He also commended Jail Division deputies who discovered the damage and the investigators who worked the case.