Escaped inmate leads high-speed chase, ejected from vehicle after crashing into woods. Brother in custody after reportedly assisting escape.

Published 11:02 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

After leading deputies on a dramatic high-speed chase, the man who escaped a Mississippi jail early Wednesday morning is back into custody.

Omari Smith, 20, escaped from the Adams County Jail at about 5:20 a.m. and was last seen fleeing on Canal Street toward the bridge.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said Omari Smith was apparently assisted after his escape from his brother, Kemari Daiquan Smith, 22.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sheriff Patten was staked out in the Roselawn subdivision when he spotted the vehicle the Smith brothers were in, headed out of the subdivision on Wood Avenue toward the U.S. 61 bypass.

Patten quickly pursued the vehicle and was joined by other sheriff deputies and Natchez Police officers.

During the chase, the car in which the Smith brothers were fleeing crashed into a wooded area off Col. John Pitchford near W.T. Drilling. Omari Smith was ejected from the vehicle. He was captured and loaded into an ambulance. He was responsive and taken to Merit Health, where he will likely be airlifted out to another facility, she sheriff said. Omari Smith was responsive and is expected to survive his injuries.

Kemari Smith, apparently uninjured in the crash, was taken into custody. The Smith brothers were the only two in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

After Omari Smith’s escape, Patten said sheriff’s deputies developed information that he had made it to Roselawn subdivision, “where he resides when he is not incarcerated.”

Witness interviews and video camera images confirm Omari Smith and Kemari Smith left a residence in Roselawn and entered a dark blue or black BMW sedan about 40 minutes after Omari Smith’s escape. Law enforcement officials think the BMW was stolen and are working to confirm that now.

“They were both seen getting into the same vehicle and driving away,” Patten said.

In addition to Natchez Police Department, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase by shutting down traffic on the bridge. Woodville Police also sent officers to assist in the manhunt.