An escapee from Colquitt County Correctional Institute, convicted of committing several burglaries and other crimes in Bulloch County, was apprehended Thursday in the Portal area.
Christopher Shawn Burnett, 26, was serving time for the 2010 convictions.
"On Dec. 4 at 10:40 a.m., inmate Christopher Burnett ... walked away from an outside work detail in Colquitt County," said Gwendolyn Hogan, public relations and information coordinator with the Georgia Department of Corrections. "Burnett was recaptured without incident on Dec. 5 at 10:45 a.m. by the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office with the assistance of the Georgia Department of Corrections Fugitive Task Force and GDC K-9 unit."
Burnett was located at a Lake Collins residence on Bowen Road, a short distance from his mother's home, according to reports.
His mother, Angie Hutchinson, said Thursday that she did not see Burnett after his escape, but that he called her several times.
Burnett had access to cellphones while imprisoned in the Colquitt County Correctional Institute in Moultrie, and called her often, she said, adding that he used a phone to call her after his escape.
"He said he had it all figured out," she said. Burnett told her there was a "hit out" on him and that two others charged in connection with him have threatened him.
"He said he had been labeled a snitch" and was beaten by other inmates, she said. "I keep expecting them to knock on my door and tell me my son is dead."
Hutchinson said Burnett wanted to go to South Carolina to see his children, and told her he also considered turning himself in. He called Hutchinson again while authorities questioned her Thursday, and he was apprehended shortly afterward.
Burnett was convicted in Bulloch County after being apprehended June 23, 2010, and charged with involvement in a burglary ring.
He was apprehended after investigators discovered he pawned some jewelry stolen from one of about a dozen victims. When deputies stopped a van in which Burnett was riding, they took him into custody on charges of 11 counts of burglary, 13 counts of theft by taking (firearms), felony theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, probation violation, misdemeanor theft by taking (two counts), and theft by deception.
Investigators found numerous items stolen in multiple burglaries in his Burkhalter Road home. Others were also arrested for involvement in the burglary ring that targeted homes in the Banks Dairy Road, Friendship Church Road, Georgia Highway 67, Langston Chapel Road and Sinkhole Road areas, Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson said at the time of the arrests.
"This is our largest recovery (of stolen items) in years," he said. Truck loads of guns, electronics, tools and other items filled the sheriff's office courtroom after being recovered. Victims were called to identify their belongings after the arrests and item recovery.
In September 2008, Burnett was convicted of theft by receiving stolen property, drug possession, credit card fraud, entering auto and theft by taking, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website (www.dcor.state.ga.us).
Hutchinson said a woman Burnett knows, Tabitha Prosser, picked him up after he walked away from the work detail.
Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Akins referred questions about Burnett's escape to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. Calls to that agency seeking comment were not returned Thursday.
According to Bulloch County Jail records, Prosser was jailed Wednesday night on probation violation charges and is being held in the Bulloch County Jail, wanted by Colquitt County on outstanding charges.
Calls to the Colquitt County Correctional Institute seeking information on charges for Burnett and Prosser were not returned Thursday.
The Georgia Department of Corrections website listed Burnett's latest possible release date as June 17, 2025. He was incarcerated July 21, 2011.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.