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Hamilton, AL 35570

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Fugitive captured in Hamilton

Fugitive captured in Hamilton

  •  Grandmother arrested for harboring escaped inmate

 Kennedy, Zepplin.JPG

Zepplin Kennedy

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Annette Huddleston

News Editor

hamilton - Authorities have captured one of the two fugitives who escaped last week from the Marion County Jail in Hamilton.

Zeppelin Kennedy, 20, Hamilton, is in custody and has been returned to the county jail after his capture at a family member’s home in Hamilton on Tuesday, March 21.

Officers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and Hamilton Police Department arrived at the home where Kennedy was seeking refuge and remained less than 30 minutes before the fugitive was back in custody.

Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams said Kennedy was not armed at the time and was arrested without incident. Kennedy was in custody and returned to the county jail by 1:50 p.m. on Tuesday.

He was being held at the jail pending recent charges on 31 counts of possession of pornography and production of pornography with a minor.

Law enforcement officials in Alabama and Mississippi had worked in partnership in the search since his escape at 1:30 a.m. on Friday, March 17.

An informant notified local authorities that Kennedy had circled back from Mississippi to his hometown and could be found at his grandmother’s house.

Located inside the home at the time of his arrest were his grandmother, uncle and aunt.

His grandmother, Annette Huddleston, 57, Hamilton, has been arrested in connection with the case for assisting the fugitive in his run from the law.

She has been charged with aiding and abetting, harboring a fugitive and obstruction of a governmental operation.

Neither of the remaining family members were charged in the case.

Her arrest marks the ninth by authorities involving those who have been charged with aiding Kennedy since he’s been on the run from the law.

She joins three others from the county now being held at the local jail for their alleged role in the case.

Also being held at the jail is Kennedy’s mother, Rachel Parrish, 42, Hamilton.

The remaining five who have been charged with aiding Kennedy and Dean in their run are currently being held at the Lamar County Jail in Vernon.

Asked the message these arrests send to the community, Williams said, “I think this will send a strong message.

“If you know a fugitive is on the run and provide aid of any kind--money, cell phone, food or clothing--you will be arrested.’’

The sheriff said the search for the second fugitive to run from the county jail.

Cory Dean, 22, Brilliant, was on the run with Kennedy for more than 48 hours until authorities said the two split up on Sunday.

The sheriff said authorities believe the two separated while being sought in Mississippi. Later reports confirmed that Kennedy had been spotted at a gas station in Kennedy.

Williams said U.S. marshals are still involved in the search for Dean, who was being held in connection with a string of church burglaries in Alabama.

His charges included seven counts of third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief,  second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree arson and discharging a firearm into an unoccupied dwelling.

More information on the route taken by the fugitives and other details of the recent turn of events is expected as local authorities interview Kennedy. Williams said no such information had been provided as of presstime at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 23.

Sheriff disputes media report

Media attention for the case has extended well beyond the Marion County area as news crews from each of the states involved have reported the story.

Williams admitted to his having taken exception with a news report quoting a family member of Kennedy’s, saying the inmate had been the victim of abuse from other inmates inside the jail.

The television report was aired by a station located in Mississippi.

“Hearing what was said in this report was the first time our office had even heard of some of these complaints,’’ the sheriff said in an interview with the Journal Record.

“No reports have been filed or given to us. No reports have been filed asking to be moved to another facility. Despite the media report, there have been no assaults. The inmate was in protective custody while here. I can assure you we would have known had anything like that happened.’’

(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.)

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