- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

BOLIVIA, N.C. (AP) - A man accused of escaping from the Brunswick County jail and several members of his family now face animal cruelty charges.

Multiple media outlets report that 22-year-old William Earl Hewett escaped from the jail Jan. 29. He was found on the family’s property Feb. 3.

The sheriff’s office said animal protective services seized 17 dogs and a miniature horse from the family compound the day Hewett was arrested. Officers found many of the dogs had no food or water and did not have adequate shelter. Several needed to see a veterinarian.

Hewett’s mother, stepfather, aunt and brother have been charged with one count of animal cruelty. It was not clear if they have attorneys.

Hewett’s girlfriend, a cousin and a family friend are charged in the escape.

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