BEAUMONT, Texas — A Beaumont man's dash for freedom was short-lived Wednesday morning after he jumped from a second story balcony inside the Jefferson County Courthouse only to be caught minutes later.
Brandon Jamal Miller, 31, of Beaumont, was appearing before Judge John Stevens in Jefferson County's Criminal District Court Wednesday morning when he learned he was going have his bond revoked because of a positive drug test.
Miller then ran from the second-floor courtroom, jumped about 15 feet over the balcony to the first floor and ran out the front doors of the courthouse according to a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesperson.
Stevens said Miller was wearing a drug patch and tested positive for cocaine and PCP.
“You are taken into custody. This isn’t a debate. You follow the rules or else you’re held accountable," Judge Stevens told Miller before he ran from the courtroom.
A woman in the courtroom screamed to Miller, begging him not to run, before he evaded deputies and ran out the door.
Miller could be heard in court yelling "I'm not going to jail" before he left.
After he ran out of the courtroom Miller encountered an officer who tried to stop him before he pulled away and jumped over the second floor balcony in the lobby of the courthouse according to Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens.
A Jefferson County deputy tased Miller at the front doors of the courthouse before he was detained Stephens told 12News.
Miller was taken to the hospital to be checked out before he was taken to the jail according to Stephens. He may have broken his arm she said.
Miller was booked into the Jefferson County Jail and charged with two counts of evading detention, three counts of felony possession of a controlled, and a felony escape. Judge Steven revoked all of his bonds.
He was originally facing two charges of evading detention and three drug possession charges according to court documents.
Judge Stevens presided over the case of Bartholomew Granger a decade ago. Granger was on trial for sexual assault when he shot and killed a 79-year-old outside the Jefferson County courthouse. In the wake of the Granger case, courthouse security was reevaluated and changes were made to improve security measures in and around the facility.
Those who witnessed the escape attempt said it is something they will not forget anytime soon.
"It's still processing in my head like, 'Did I really just see that?' I'm glad I didn't see when they took him though because heard he was pretty beat up,” Jefferson County Deputy Clerk Jackie Torres said.
Torres said she heard a loud commotion above her and office and ran out to see what was happening.
“It just like happened like that, and I just saw a body just drop, and so it was very loud it was a hard drop,” Torres said.
District Attorney Ryan Gertz said he was trying a case in the court room next door when he heard the commotion.
"One of my close friends is actually trying in that court, an evading arrest case, and so that seemed on foot ,and so I was kind of like, 'Well, I wonder.' And so I was concerned really for my friend and his safety and the court staff's safety,” Gertz said.
Gertz said they actually had to stop his trial for about 15 minutes to let the shock wear off.
This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.
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