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Escapee captured, faces additional charges
Spencer Wright Popwell
Spencer Wright Popwell

After eluding law enforcement overnight, a Bulloch County Correctional Institute escapee was captured early Tuesday morning in the vicinity of where he crashed a stolen truck after he escaped from a work detail Monday. 

Spencer Wright Popwell, 51, of Glynn County, had less than two years to serve for a March 17, 2022 conviction of fleeing and eluding police. He was also previously convicted of various theft, burglary, illegal possession of firearms, and drug possession, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website (dcor.state.ga.us). 

Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies, Bulloch County Correctional officers, Statesboro Police and other law enforcement searched the area of Lester and Jones Mill roads after Popwell’s escape from a Lakwview Road work detail, where he had reportedly been spraying weeds, said Bulloch County Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Hutchens. 

“He apparently kept dodging us and hid from us all night,” he said. Popwell was apprehended a short time after 7 a.m. Tuesday a short distance from where he had crashed the stolen work camp truck Monday afternoon on Jones Mill Road. He was located behind Willingway Hospital, Hutchens said, adding Popwell was captured without incident. 

During his brief stretch of freedom, Popwell entered at least three vehicles in the area, and stole a firearm from one, he said. 

Georgia Department of Corrections show Popwell served time from Nov. 2018 to Sept. 2020, then again from June 2022 until his escape Monday. His prior convictions all took place in Glynn County. Records listed 2nd degree burglary as his “major” offense. 

 He was scheduled to have been released in March 2024, but now his sentence is likely to be extended, as he is now charged with escape, theft by taking/motor vehicle, theft by taking/firearm, three counts of entering auto, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, criminal damage to property and interference with government property., Hutchens said. 

The Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office released a public notice less than hour after Popwell’s escape, making sure the public was aware of the search so they could take extra safety precautions. Popwell is being detained in the Bulloch County Jail, awaiting court hearings. 

 

Holli Deal Saxon is a Herald writer. She may be reached at 912-243-7815. 

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