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Authorities catch both inmates who escaped violent Mississippi jail

2020-01-07

An escaped inmate who was serving a life sentence in a Mississippi prison got caught by authorities on Sunday and, on Monday, the man he escaped with got captured as well.

David May, 42, and Dillion Williams, 27, were both found to be missing from Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, about 100 miles south of Memphis, at 1:45 a.m. Saturday after the prison endured days of riots and fights. Authorities said they were traveling together in a black 2011 GMC truck that was stolen near the prison, but on Sunday morning, it was only May — who was serving a life term for two aggravated assault convictions — who was returned to custody.

There’s no word yet on how May was brought in, but officials continued their search for Williams, who was serving a 40-year sentence for residential burglary and aggravated assault, for approximately another 36 hours. A mere 20 minutes after posting a $5000 reward for leading to Williams’s arrest, the Mississippi Department of Corrections posted on Facebook that he had been apprehended Monday afternoon. A U.S. Marshall said that Williams was found in a wooded area in southwestern Tennessee, and surrendered peacefully.

It’s unknown whether the escapes were related to the violence that plagued Mississippi prisons last week, but even outside of May and Williams’s disappearances, this has been a difficult time for the state’s correctional system. At Parchman, where May and Williams were held, three inmates were fatally stabbed in three days, and across the state, two other prisons saw an inmate die. The state’s prisons remain under lockdown while authorities investigate, but the department of corrections said that conditions were stable on Sunday.

“We are continuing to assess the population,” Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall said to CNN. “We are still being very mindful and watchful.”