UPDATE: Sheriff Patten spots escapee, leads chase; escapee brother in custody

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

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NATCHEZ — After leading deputies on a dramatic high-speed chase from Roselawn to U.S. 61 south to Col. John Pitchford Parkway this morning shortly after 9 a.m., Adams County Jail escapee, Omari Jaiquan Smith, 22, is back in custody.

Omari Smith escaped from the Adams County Jail at about 5:20 a.m. and was last seen fleeing on Canal Street toward the bridge.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said Omari Smith was apparently assisted after his escape by his twin brother, Kemari Daiquan Smith, 22.

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Sheriff Patten was staked out in the Roselawn subdivision when he spotted the vehicle the Smith brothers were in, headed out of the subdivision on Wood Avenue toward the U.S. 61 bypass, with Natchez Police Investigator Commander Justin Jones leading a pursuit.

Patten quickly joined the pursuit with other sheriff deputies and Natchez Police officers.

During the chase, the car in which the Smith brothers were fleeing crashed into a wooded area off Col. John Pitchford near W.T. Drilling. Omari Smith was ejected from the vehicle. He was captured and loaded into an ambulance. He was responsive and taken to Merit Health, where he will likely be airlifted out to another facility, the sheriff said. Omari Smith was responsive and is expected to survive his injuries.

Kemari Smith, apparently uninjured in the crash, was taken into custody. The Smith brothers were the only two in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

After Omari Smith’s escape, Patten said sheriff’s deputies developed information that he had made it to Roselawn subdivision, “where he resides when he is not incarcerated.”

Witness interviews and video camera images confirm Omari Smith and Kemari Smith left a residence in Roselawn and entered a dark blue or black BMW sedan about 40 minutes after Omari Smith’s escape. Law enforcement officials think the BMW was stolen and are working to confirm that now.

“They were both seen getting into the same vehicle and driving away,” Patten said.

In addition to Natchez Police Department, the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase by shutting down traffic on the bridge. Woodville Police also sent officers to assist in the manhunt.