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Mississippi Jail Escapee Captured In Texas, Another Confirmed Dead In Leake County

Spring Valley, TX – One of four inmates who escaped from a Mississippi jail nearly one week ago was apprehended in Texas on Thursday.

Police zeroed in on 51-year-old Jerry Raynes’ whereabouts after he was spotted on a gas station security camera in Spring Valley at about 11 a.m. on April 23, the Associated Press reported.

His was apprehended through a cooperative effort by the Spring Valley Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Raynes, who has a history of other jail escapes, was being held in Mississippi on charges of burglary and auto theft prior to escaping from the Raymond Detention Center in Raymond on April 22.

He now faces extradition back to Mississippi, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones tweeted after his capture.

Details regarding how the multiagency search teams ultimately located Raynes have not been released.

Sheriff Jones confirmed on Wednesday that the charred remains of one of the three inmates who escaped from jail with Raynes was found inside a home in Leake County, Mississippi after a shootout with police earlier that day.

“Confirmed: The remains recovered in the burned structure in Carthage, MS this morning have been identified as one of the escapees, Dylan Arrington,” Sheriff Jones tweeted. “The cause of death is under investigation by MS Bureau of Investigations.”

Arrington, 22, has also been accused of shooting a law enforcement officer and murdering a 61-year-old pastor while he was on the run.

Police in Jackson, Mississippi received a report of “unknown trouble” on Interstate 55 at about 7 p.m. on April 24 and arrived at the scene to find the body of Anthony Watts lying on the road, WLBT reported.

Investigators said Watts, a pastor in D’Lo, came under attack after he pulled over to help a man who appeared to have been involved in a motorcycle crash.

Police said they believe the man on the motorcycle was Arrington and that he had stolen the bike just moments before, WLBT reported.

Arrington allegedly shot Watts multiple times, then stole the slain pastor’s red Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck and sped away.

Investigators tracked the fugitive to a home at 2511 Conway Road in Carthage at about 7:10 a.m. the following day.

“That’s when the individual started shooting from inside the residence and shot my deputy,” Leake County Sheriff Randy Atkinson told WAPT.

The Leake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) said the deputy, identified only as Investigator Horn, was rushed to Leake Baptist hospital with a gunshot wound to the lower right leg.

He was later listed in stable condition.

Sheriff Jones said the suspect barricaded himself inside the house during the exchange of gunfire, CBS News reported.

The home also went up in flames during the shootout, although the cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

“While the house was engulfed in flames, we do believe [the gunman] did retreat to another side of the residence and he did begin firing out a window on the other side of the residence, and that’s when law enforcement agencies returned fire,” Sheriff Jones told WAPT. “We believe that the individual was possibly struck, but of course, we don’t have that information right now. Whether he died by gunfire or whether he died as a result of the fire, that is to be determined.”

Two other escapees, 24-year-old Casey Grayson and 22-year-old Corey Harrison, remain on the loose, according to the Associated Press.

The jailbreak occurred at approximately 8 p.m. on April 22, WAPT reported.

Investigators said the four inmates managed to escape the Raymond Detention Center through breaches in a cell and the facility’s roof.

Sheriff Jones told WAPT on Monday it is believed the inmates possibly “camped out on the roof and departed at different ways at different times.”

The sheriff said jail staff realized the inmates were missing the following morning.

At least one of the escapees allegedly stole a Hinds County Public Works vehicle and crashed through a gate before fleeing the area.

The vehicle was later found abandoned near Houston, Texas, Sheriff Jones told WAPT.

A Chevrolet Silverado the sheriff said may be related to the escape was also seen traveling eastbound in Rankin County.

Watts’ stolen pickup truck has still not been recovered, Sheriff Atkinson told WLBT on Wednesday.

“We have combed this area,” he said. “We’ve had drones… choppers have been in the area, and we have not seen this vehicle in the area, and we have not seen that vehicle anywhere.”

Arrington was facing charges of convicted felon in possession of a firearm and auto theft at the time of his escape from jail, according to WAPT.

Grayson was being held on sale of controlled substance and grand larceny, and Harrison was being held on a receiving stolen property offense.

Raynes, who has escaped from the Raymond Detention Center and other facilities in the past, was being held on business burglary and auto theft when the jailbreak occurred, WAPT reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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