Jail escapee breaks into bridal shop to access downtown apartment, steals BMW and crashes it during chase

Published 4:42 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Natchez Police Chief Cal Green said Adams County Jail escapee Omari Jaiquan Smith, 22, allegedly broke into the bridal shop Magnolia Mariee at the corner of Canal and Main streets, accessed an apartment above the shop, stole keys and a black BMW.

Green said the owner of the BMW was out of town and not in the apartment at the time Smith broke in.

“The iron fence was locked, but he apparently jumped that to get access to a window, which he broke out to get into the store,” Green said.

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Smith escaped from the Adams County Jail at about 5:20 a.m. this morning and was last seen running on Canal Street.

Smith and his twin brother, Kemari Daiquan Smith, later led law enforcement officers on a dramatic high-speed chase, ultimately crashing the stolen BMW into a wooded area on Col. John Pitchford Parkway near W.T. Drilling.

Kemari Smith was taken into custody and faces charges related to aiding in his brother’s escape. Omari Smith was ejected from the vehicle when it crashed and was airlifted under guard to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He is expected to survive.

The escape took place after Omari Smith created a commotion in the Adams County Jail. Sheriff Travis Patten said jail guards temporarily moved Smith – who was being held on lunacy charges – to what was considered a secure room to give them time to rearrange other inmates and find a place to move him. Smith kicked out a window in the visitation room and escaped.

“Everybody’s on this side (of the room) thinking everything is secure when he kicked that window,” Patten said. “Many people have beat on that window, but we never had anyone kick it out before. He was the first.”

After the escape, Adams County Sheriff’s deputies learned Smith made his way to Roselawn subdivision, where he “lives when he isn’t incarcerated,” Sheriff Travis Patten said. After talking to witnesses and reviewing video from cameras, deputies determined Omari Smith and Kemari Smith left the area in the black BMW from the house in Roselawn.

Patten later spotted Natchez Police Officer Justin Jones chasing the Smith brothers in the stolen BMW and joined the pursuit, alerting other officers.

Omari Smith was out of bond on an attempted murder charge on Jan. 6 of this year when he broke into Great River Honda and stole a four-wheeler and took it for a joy ride before being arrested again. The murder charge stemmed from a July 2021 incident in which he allegedly shot a man while driving on Liberty Road near Prospect Road.