This Story Was Published in the ATHENS-BANNER HERALD on Wednesday:

 Johnny Mack Brown, 52, escaped about 10:30 a.m. Monday from Hays State Prison in Chattooga County with Michael Anthony Tweedel, 48, who was serving two 10-year sentences for armed robbery in Cobb County, state corrections officials said.

Corrections officials would not say how the men escaped from the maximum security prison, which houses inmates with behavioral problems.

Police in Athens-Clarke and Elberton counties issued lookouts Tuesday afternoon, but officials said Brown could be headed to South Carolina.

Brown shot a Loomis Fargo armored car guard three times in the chest and fired at others during a Dec. 22, 1997, armed robbery at the former Wal-Mart in the Perimeter Square shopping center off Atlanta Highway.

He stole $183,000 in cash and checks and got away in a hijacked car, but police soon captured him at Georgia Square Mall.

A Clarke County jury convicted Brown of armed robbery, aggravated assault with intent to murder, aggravated battery, theft by taking, hijacking a motor vehicle and aggravated assault for shooting at an off-duty police instructor during the robbery.

Judge Steve Jones sentenced Brown to life plus 90 years in prison.

He escaped from Clarke County Jail in September 1998, and during three weeks on the run, he accumulated criminal charges in three states, including allegations he beat an 84-year-old man with a barbell in South Carolina and stole his car, then stole another car from a dealership in North Carolina.

Authorities arrested Brown in Daytona Beach, Fla., when they found him asleep in the car stolen from the dealership.

Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Wednesday, October 15, 2008