More details have been released regarding the completion of the investigation into a Morris man escaping from the Grundy County Jail in 2019. Grundy County Sheriff Ken Briley said 34-year-old Andrew Viles left the jail during meal delivery around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday December 7th and was last seen wearing regular streets clothes.
Briley said Viles had become a model inmate and earned the role of Jail Trustee within the facility. The trustee role allowed Viles to obtain certain privileges such as helping with meal services, janitorial duties including laundry. Briley said Viles was then captured near the train tracks on Saratoga Road around 2 p.m. on Sunday December 8th.
Following the escape, Briley launched an immediate investigation into jail policies, operations and procedures, to determine how Viles was able to exit the jail undetected by jail staff. After a thorough six-week investigation; that included the assistance of the Illinois State Police, Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, and the Grundy County States Attorney’s Office; along with the observation of hundreds of hours of jail surveillance video, interviews with inmates, corrections employees, and a thorough review of corrections procedures; it was determined proper policies and procedures were in place, however; inconsistent applications of those policies by corrections employees led to a lack of supervision leading to Viles ability to exit the Grundy County Jail.
Over the course of several weeks leading up to the escape, Viles acquired the civilian clothing of newly incarcerated inmates as they were taken into custody of the jail. He then hid these clothing items in the laundry room. Viles used a blind spot in the security camera coverage of the jail to put on the civilian clothing.
When the evening meal was delivered at the food service delivery door; he then walked out after the delivery door was buzzed open. Additional security cameras, updated training of jail staff, and additional operational security procedures for intake clothing have now been implemented to address these areas of security concern.
The outcome of this investigation has led to the resignation of three correctional officers and disciplinary action of a fourth correctional officer. Briley said although we were able to locate and take Viles back into custody in less than 24 hours; it is unacceptable this occurred. I am confident that current members of the correctional staff are well trained and will enforce the policies and procedures that are in place to ensure this does not happen again.
According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Viles was released on parole in March of this year after serving a 12 year prison sentence he received on a burglary charge out of Grundy County in 2012. Nearly two months after his release, Viles allegedly burglarized two businesses in Morris on April 24th.
After an investigation, Viles was arrested by the Morris Police Department on June 1st for burglarizing the two businesses. Viles was charged with escaping from a penal institution, a class two felony and his bond was set at $750,000. He is due back in court in March.