McDuffie escapee captured in north Georgia

THOMSON --- A state prison inmate who stole a pickup while on a work detail last week in McDuffie County has been captured.

Tommy Ray Woodruff was caught late Tuesday near Cartersville, north of Atlanta, according to McDuffie County Sheriff's Department Major Ronnie Williamson.

The 30-year-old Woodruff had been serving time at the Pre-Release Center in Wilkes County before stealing a truck belonging to the McDuffie County Roads and Bridges Department and fleeing.

Police found the truck abandoned behind a building in downtown Gainesville earlier this week.

Williamson said Woodruff was caught by members of a federal fugitive squad, working with the Georgia Department of Corrections. When authorities closed in, Woodruff ran and jumped into a pond before being caught, officials said.

Woodruff now faces charges of escape, theft of a motor vehicle and interference with government property in McDuffie County, Williamson said. He is being held at Phillips State Prison in Buford, Ga.

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