Authorities search for escapee

Published 9:39 am Tuesday, May 8, 2007

NATCHEZ — Officers from five law enforcement departments swarmed an area near Cranfield looking for an escaped prisoner, but as of late Monday night the teen had not been found.

Isaac Allen Garner, 17, escaped from the Franklin County Jail Sunday evening, Franklin County Sheriff James Newman said Monday.

As the prisoners were being fed, Garner tussled with a guard and ran out the front door of the jail, Newman said.

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Garner was incarcerated in Franklin County Jail on charges of burglary of a residence.

Deputies started searching for him Sunday evening.

Garner, a Franklin County resident, was reportedly seen driving his father’s truck just inside the Adams County line, Newman said.

Garner was allegedly accompanied by his cousin, Anthony Carol Day, who Newman said was also a burglary suspect in Franklin County.

“Today, a deputy spotted him about 9 a.m. on (U.S.) 84,” Newman said. “The deputy followed him. (Garner) turned onto State Park Road. About two miles down, they jumped out and started running through the woods.”

Law enforcement officers started there and scattered in areas along Hobo Forks Road and Tate Road.

Officers from the Franklin and Adams county sheriff’s offices, the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and state troopers joined the search. Officers from the Louisiana State Penitentiary drove from Angola to volunteer their bloodhounds to track the two.

Neither Garner nor Day was necessarily armed or dangerous, Newman said.

“We don’t know whether or not they’re armed,” he said. “We found ammunition in the truck, but no weapon. We’re taking all precautions.”

Adams County Sheriff Ronny Brown said they were working to find the two, but it was slow going through the dense woods.

“It’s so thick,” Brown said. “The helicopter can’t even see the dogs, it’s so thick.”

Garner also faces Adams County charges of sale of schedule III controlled substance within a school zone and is currently out on $10,000 bond, ACSO Maj. Jody Waldrop said. Day faced charges as a juvenile in Adams County, he said.

Dorothy Lee, the boys’ grandmother, said she was concerned for the boys.

“They haven’t been convicted of anything yet,” Lee said.

She said she didn’t know if Day was with Garner. Lee said she had suspicions Garner was mistreated at the jail.

“I wish they would turn themselves in, but because of that, they’re scared, and they’re not going to do it,” Lee said. “They’re not hardened criminals, but they’re treating them like they are.”

Adams County resident Mary Shaw, who lives in the area, said this wasn’t something she saw every day.

“I’ve never been here when they were out like this,” Shaw said.

Escaped prisoners possibly running through her backyard raised concerns about the future private prison set to be built in the Cranfield area, she said.

Officers were still searching for the two late Monday evening.