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Emmett Bass is a gambling man. In 1975 he and another man were arrested in Henry County for armed robbery of a package store. Bass was convicted and given a 15-year sentence. Three years later, on April 3, 1978, Bass was on a work detail near Highway 16 in Griffin when he went to relieve himself in the trees. Instead of returning to where his fellow inmates were cleaning ditches in the hot sun, he continued deeper into the woods.