UPDATE: Jail escapee being flown to UMMC after pursuit ended in crash
Published 1:47 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023
NATCHEZ — An Adams County inmate who reportedly broke out of jail and fled law enforcement with the help of his twin brother is on his way to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
Omari Smith, 22, sustained injuries when the vehicle he and his twin brother were fleeing law enforcement in crashed into the woods near W.T Drilling on Col. John Pitchford Parkway shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.
At the crash scene, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said Omari Smith, 22, had been responsive and is expected to live after he was ejected from the vehicle and found on the ground by the woods line. He is being charged with escape and felony fleeing law enforcement for the events that transpired Wednesday morning.
Email newsletter signup
His twin brother, Kemari Smith, is also being charged with accessory after the fact and felony fleeing law enforcement. Natchez Police also have a warrant for Kemari for contempt of court, officials said.
Adams County Sheriff’s deputies also apprehended the Smith brothers’ mother. Makita Antoinette Smith, 43, is being charged with not cooperating with authorities during their search, Patten said.
“She had active warrants with the sheriff’s office and she was not very cooperative when we paid a visit to her residence,” he said.
More charges may be pending from NPD for the vehicle that was likely stolen.
Omari was previously arrested by NPD for reportedly breaking into Great River Honda on Jan. 6, taking the keys to a four-wheeler and then taking out for a ride. He had also bonded out of jail on an attempted murder charge in October 2021, stemming from a July 2021 incident where Omari allegedly shot a man while driving on Liberty Road near Prospect Road.
Patten said Omari had been “causing problems all night in the, in the (jail) facility” and broke free through a window in the visitation room while authorities were attempting to ready a holding cell for him used for inmates with mental health problems. After that, Patten said Omari was able to run out of the front door at ACSO after 5 a.m. Wednesday.
“Everybody’s on this side 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.”
Officers from Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office and Wilkinson County joined Natchez police and Adams County Sheriff’s Office in the manhunt on Wednesday morning, up to the moment the brothers were found and taken into custody.
“This guy was erratically driving,” he said. “He went up Franklin Street the wrong way, up Canal, the wrong way … he went through the downtown all the way out River Terminal Road. We had to shut the bridge down because of what he was doing. And it took all those agencies that I named off to get here and help put an end to this and they did. …
“I’m grateful for every single person that you see out here today coming to aid us when we needed aid,” Patten said. “That’s why it’s important when they call, we show up, when we call, they show up. You’re standing here looking at that in action right now. The result of that is two people back in custody, one that had escaped the jail. … We’ve had a very eventful week, but even with everything that went on, the men and the women of the ACSO and all our network and partners have continued to rise to the case and everybody’s OK. You can’t stop the bad stuff from happening, but you choose how to respond to it, and these guys got it done.”