Brunswick man pleads guilty to January escape from county jail is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

William Earl Hewett
William Earl Hewett

The man who escaped from the Brunswick County jail by posing as his brother who was set to be released from custody in January will spend the next two years in prison.

William Hewett, 22, pleaded guilty to escaping from a county jail, felony fleeing to elude arrest and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury on Wednesday in Brunswick County Superior Court. As part of his Alford plea–meaning he admits no guilt but acknowledges he will be sentenced as if he were guilty–charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of marijuana, burning personal property and injury to personal property were dismissed.

Brunswick County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis consolidated Hewett’s sentence to 26 months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections (with a maximum of 44 months) on all counts. Hewett will get credit for time served in the Brunswick County jail.

Hewett escaped from the Brunswick County jail at about 4 p.m. Jan. 29, when he reportedly switched arm bands with his brother, Curtis Hewett, who was set to be bonded out, according to Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram.

After a five-day, countywide manhunt, sheriff’s deputies stormed what was described as a “family compound” off Trails End Drive in Southport, where they arrested William Earl Hewett and several family members on Feb. 3.

Read related story: Deputies capture inmate who escaped from Brunswick County jail

Several family members, including Curtis Hewett, were arrested and charged with assisting in his escape, according to court records. Most of those who were charged have pleaded guilty or had their charges dismissed.

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Caroline Curran is the managing editor of Port City Daily. Reach her at (910) 772-6336 or On Twitter: @cgcurran