Escapee caught in county

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 19, 2014

An inmate who escaped from a work detail earlier this week in Lamar County was captured Friday afternoon following a two-hour standoff with Warren County deputies.

Matthew Wayne Thompson, 29, was arrested shortly after 5 p.m. Friday by Warren County deputies who had received word that he was hiding at a mobile home park at 4407 Halls Ferry Road, Sheriff Martin Pace said.

“As we were approaching the trailer he bolted out the back door, ran 30 or 40 yards and dove into a pond. At the time he was running, he had in his hand what appeared to be a large caliber hand gun,” Pace said.

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Deputies, Vicksburg police and members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force surrounded the pond at about 3:30 p.m.

Thompson kept his head above water until about 5 p.m. when he surrendered, Pace said.

“There was absolutely no means of escape for the pond, but our fear at that time was that he would harm himself,” Pace said.

On Tuesday, Thompson stole a 15-passenger Ford van and a work trailer attached as he escaped from a work detail in the Bellevue Community on U.S. 98, Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel told the Associated Press.

The van has not been recovered, but the trailer was found abandoned on Mississippi 589.

Thompson had been sentenced Monday to the Lamar County work program after being convicted of receiving stolen property. Thompson was in the Warren County Jail Friday night awaiting transfer to Lamar County.

Charges are possible for anyone who helped Thompson escape, Pace said.

“This matter, as far as locally, is still under investigation. Our question will be is there someone who knowingly aided and assisted an escaped inmate. If so, they stand to be charged.”