How was killer captured after he escaped from Mississippi prison? He ran out of gas, officials said.
Published 6:28 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022
A convicted murderer who escaped from a Mississippi prison Saturday was captured Tuesday after he apparently ran out of gas, according to prison officials.
Police say the vehicle that Michael Floyd Wilson, 51, allegedly carjacked in Jackson County on the Gulf Coast ran out of gas while was trying to speed up to evade police.
Officials say Wilson assaulted a woman in Jackson County and carjacked her car.
Wilson was captured by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department after escaping from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County, Burl Cain, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, said at a news conference Tuesday.
Authorities were still piecing together the rest of Wilson’s whereabouts during his escape, Cain said.
“The timeline is far, far too long and it’s unacceptable,” Cain said. “We made mistakes … We’re going to ensure the public and so forth that we won’t make those mistakes again because we have taken corrective action.”
About a dozen prison employees have been suspended because the staff waited more than a day to tell the state Department of Corrections he was missing, officials said.
Mississippi Department of Correction spokesman Leo Honeycutt said state and federal law enforcement officers took part in a multistate search for Wilson.
Honeycutt said Wilson escaped Saturday and prison staff told the department about the escape Sunday. Wilson had obtained gloves, and one of those was stuck in the wire, Honeycutt said.
It Wilson’s third escape from custody, Honeycutt said. Wilson got out of the Greene County jail in 2001, where he was being held on a burglary charge. Wilson was sentenced to two life sentences in September 2015 after being convicted of murder for beating two people to death on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2014.
In July 2018, Wilson escaped from South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville and was captured two days later in Ocean Springs, which is about 70 miles away.
Investigators have learned that after Wilson’s latest escape he went to a nearby subdivision in the Jackson suburb of Pearl and told someone he was bleeding because he was an FBI agent who had been in a motorcycle accident, Honeycutt said. That person called 911, and an ambulance picked up Wilson and took him to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
“We dropped the ball because we didn’t know he had escaped,” Honeycutt said of the department.
Honeycutt said Wilson gave a fake name at the hospital. After Wilson was released from the hospital Saturday, he ended up at a Walmart in Richland, several miles from the prison. Honeycutt said someone called police because Wilson was still bleeding. When officers arrived, Wilson gave a fake name and said he wanted to go to a homeless shelter. Officers instead called an ambulance and Wilson was taken back to the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“He must be really, really convincing,” Honeycutt said. “I mean, he should be an actor.”
Wilson was discharged from the hospital for the second time early Sunday, before the Department of Corrections had been notified of the escape, Honeycutt said.
During his escape in 2018, Wilson ditched his prison garb, obtained civilian clothing and got a ride to a hospital after saying he had been injured in a motorcycle wreck and he needed to be at the hospital because his wife was in labor. The person who gave him the ride was a newspaper publisher who did not know Wilson was an inmate because the prison had not yet notified the public about Wilson’s escape.