Third inmate wanted for Dorchester Co. jail escape surrenders to authorities

Third inmate wanted for Dorchester Co. jail escape surrenders to authorities
Michael Chaplin (Source: DCSO)
Michael Chaplin (Source: DCSO)
Matthew Chaplin (Source: DCSO)
Matthew Chaplin (Source: DCSO)

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Officials with the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office say the third inmate wanted for escaping from a Lowcountry jail has turned himself in.

Authorities arrested Donald Ray Little who surrendered on Monday.

DCSO investigators say Little turned himself in in Berkeley County without incident.

According to investigators, Little along with Michael Chaplin and Matthew Chaplin escaped from the Dorchester County Jail on Friday.

"As of this time all three inmates have been located and are back in custody," DCSO officials announced on their Facebook page on Monday."We would like to thank all of the citizens with their support and tips throughout this search. We would also would like to thank all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted in the search and apprehension of these fugitives."

Investigators were seen throughout the Goose Creek area during the weekend searching for the inmates.

Major Baker with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office reported that the inmates led deputies on a car chase through the Sangaree area Saturday afternoon. They abandoned their vehicle near the 203 mile marker of Frontage Road, and ran off into the woods near Wannamaker Park.

A helicopter and K-9 units were involved in the search.

At one point, law enforcement officials were advising residents in the surrounding areas to stay indoors; Charleston Southern University was also placed on lockdown.

Inmates escaped early Friday morning

On Friday at 3 a.m., the three inmates were observed by jail staff,  according to Dorchester County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Sam Richardson.

But approximately 35 minutes later, the three were missing. Richardson said they broke a metal table support bar from a writing table and used the bar to pry out a window that measured 24 inches long and nine inches wide.

They escaped wearing only their tee-shirts and underwear and used bed linens to lower themselves to the ground floor, Richardson said.

Authorities say the trio stole a vehicle from a nearby home after the escape. That vehicle, a 2000 Dodge extended cab pickup truck with a diamond plated tool box in the back, was located near College Park Road late Friday afternoon.

Richardson said Little was jailed on a probation violation.

Matthew Chaplin was jailed on charges of grand larceny, two counts of breaking into automobiles, possession of meth, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and financial transaction card fraud, he said.

Michael Chaplin was jailed on two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of third-degree burglary and grand larceny charges.

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