One of two prisoners believed to have escaped from one of several Mississippi prisons recently rocked by violence is back in custody, authorities said early Sunday. The Mississippi Department of Corrections tweeted just before 3:30am that David May was in custody. Gov. Phil Bryant on Saturday said via Twitter that he directed “the use of all necessary assets and personnel” to find the two inmates who escaped Saturday from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Five inmates have died in prison violence since Dec. 29; three of those occurred at Parchman. The corrections department said via Facebook that May, 42, and Dillion Williams, 27, were discovered missing during an “emergency count" about 1:45am Saturday. May is serving a life sentence for two aggravated assault convictions, and Williams is serving a 40-year sentence for burglary and aggravated assault, notes the AP.
The state Department of Public Safety deployed state troopers and the highway patrol's special operations group to help the Department of Corrections find the two inmates and restore order at the troubled facility. “There was a minor fire at Unit 30 earlier this week. That fire, set by an inmate, was immediately extinguished. Like other facilities in the prison system, the prison has limited movement,” the department tweeted. Mississippi's outgoing prisons chief said Friday that four of the five killings of inmates since Sunday stem from gang violence, as guards struggle to maintain control of restive inmates. Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall said, “these are trying times for the Mississippi Department of Corrections." All state prisons remained locked down Saturday, with inmates confined to cells, and no visitors allowed.
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