Arkansas Authorities Capture Second Escaped Inmate - The World News

Arkansas Authorities Capture Second Escaped Inmate

The authorities in Arkansas on Monday captured a capital murder suspect who had escaped from a local jail with another inmate, ending a weeklong manhunt.

Officers conducting surveillance in Pine Bluff, Ark., just after 11 a.m. saw the suspect, Jatonia Bryant, 23, walking down a street wearing clothes that matched a description that had been provided to the law enforcement authorities and arrested him “without incident,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Mr. Bryant, who is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of a man last year, and Noah Roush, 22, were discovered missing on Jan. 22 from the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center in Pine Bluff, roughly 40 miles southeast of Little Rock, after a daring escape that involved bursting through holes they had made in the facility’s ceiling and roof, according to the sheriff’s office.

On Thursday, officers caught Mr. Roush near an abandoned home in Pine Bluff where he had reportedly been seen. Mr. Roush had been held at the jail on burglary and theft charges.

Mr. Bryant had remained at large, though the authorities expressed confidence last week that he was hiding out in somewhere in the city of nearly 40,000 people.

Escape charges were pending against both men on Monday, the authorities said.

“Our investigators will continue to work bringing criminal charges against all the people who assisted Roush and Bryant in evading apprehension,” read the sheriff’s news release.

Jatonia Bryant following his arrest on Monday morning in Pine Bluff, Ark.Credit…Captain Yohance Brunson/Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

The authorities also revealed on Monday that Mr. Bryant and Mr. Roush had fled about 36 hours before jail staff members noticed that they were gone because they had earlier failed to take an accurate head count.

The Jefferson County sheriff, Lafayette Woods Jr., also suggested that flaws in the design and structure of the jail had allowed the pair to break free, saying that the episode would serve as a “catalyst for further capital improvements” to the jail.

Last week, Maj. John Bean, a sheriff’s office spokesman, said that surveillance footage showed the two men had worked together to make a hole in the ceiling above a shower stall and escape.

Sheriff Woods added that the facility, which opened in 2007 with 310 beds to alleviate overcrowded jails in the county, faced staffing shortages and was down to 20 guards from a previous high of 48.

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