Four prisoners escape Cullman County Jail; convicted murderer at large

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Left: Leo Chavez, right: Robert Alan Peak
Left: Leo Chavez, right: Robert Alan Peak

CULLMAN, Ala. – Early Tuesday evening, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) reports, four inmates escaped from the Cullman County Detention Center by slipping through an air vent near a shower and breaking through metal on an outer wall before jumping from the second floor. One inmate, Justin Long, was injured in the leap. 

Long and Tyler Dooley are back in custody after they were located on Hart Drive SE off Bolte Road not far from the jail. Leo Chavez and Robert Alan Peak remain at large. Chavez was convicted earlier this year of the 2017 murders of his parents in Blount County; he was being held in Cullman County through an agreement with Blount County. Peak was arrested in Cullman County in November 2020 for first-degree theft of property and unlawful breaking and entering of a motor vehicle.

A perimeter was set up around the neighborhood where Dooley and Long were captured, where officers from CCSO and the Cullman Police Department began a search. Officers from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office joined the search.

Multiple agencies are on the scene in Cullman, including both county sheriffs’ offices, Cullman Police, State Troopers and U.S. Marshals.

Reward offered

According to Sheriff Gentry, the U.S. Marshals Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Chavez, and $2,500 for Peak.

Gentry urged anyone who sees the escapees, “Make sure to use extreme caution with Chavez.”

Anyone with information can call 911 or reach CCSO at 256-734-0342, or the Blount County Sheriff’s Office at 205-625-4912 or -4913. Both offices can be reached via social media. 

This is a developing story.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com