Three teens who escaped Mississippi prison, carjacked woman captured Friday morning, officials report

Published 10:37 am Friday, January 12, 2024

Three teens who escaped from a Hinds County prison and then reportedly carjacked a woman in a church parking lot north of Natchez are now in custody.

Residents in the Natchez area have been on edge since the carjacking incident near the parking lot of Stanton Baptist Church on Monday and shooting the woman before taking her gold-colored Ford Fusion.

The trio has not been spotted since. Although officials have received numerous reports of car sightings, none have proven to be of the stolen vehicle.

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One of the juveniles who escaped is 17-year-old Tayshon Holmes from Natchez, who at age 15 was arrested and charged with the murder of 19-year-old Bill Calvin Jr. The other two are Robert Earl Smith,16, and Jashon Jones, 15. The same teens escaped the facility in July 2023.

Since Monday’s carjacking, Mississippi law enforcement has fielded and followed up on more than 300 calls or tips from the community in reference to the three escapees.

The Natchez woman was transferred from Merit Health Natchez to a Jackson hospital where she was in critical condition and underwent surgery on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said his office, Natchez Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service have been out in force searching for the escapees since the carjacking on Monday.

“We have received calls from the north, south, east and west portions of Adams County and the City of Natchez. We have worked to corroborate the stories by reviewing video footage in the areas where the calls originated from. The video footage we have been able to obtain has not confirmed any of these sightings were the actual suspects,” Patten said.

“The community is gripped with fear right now and we certainly understand why,” Pattend said at the time.