Last 2 escaped Mississippi inmates back in custody

Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Two inmates were back behind bars Wednesday after escaping a Mississippi jail over the weekend.

Authorities received a tip late Tuesday that Rodney Wayne Smith and Jonathan Theo Culpepper were hiding out in a home in Pearl River County, Maj. Marc Ogden of the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department said. Sheriff’s deputies, along with U.S. Marshals and Picayune Police officers, descended on the house just after midnight Wednesday, WLOX-TV reported.

Smith ran from the home, but was captured after a short chase. Culpepper was found hiding inside.

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Both men face charges of felony escape. Three other people — Lisa Annemarie Fornea, Joseph Head, and Mary Riley — are being charged with aiding accessory after the fact for helping the men evade authorities.

Smith and Culpepper, along with two other inmates, escaped from the Lenoir-Rowell Criminal Justice Center early-morning Sunday. David Charles Smith and Wilmer Jose Pavon-Hercules were captured not long after escaping.

Details on how they escaped have not been released.

At the time of the escape, Rodney Wayne Smith was awaiting transfer from the county jail to prison after being sentenced in June to 14 years for manufacturing methamphetamine.

Culpepper is being held on charges of taking a motor vehicle and controlled substance violations.

David Charles Smith is charged with arson of a residence.

Pavon-Hercules is being held on multiple charges, including DUI, simple assault and resisting arrest.

All four inmates are also now facing an additional charge for escaping.