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Inmate Who Escaped Custody is Now Back In Custody


Inmate Mike Jones 

An inmate who was being transported from the Lawrence County Jail to the Vernon County Jail had a brief moment of freedom.

Inmate Mike Jones, pictured above, who has been charged with 1st Degree Murder was being housed at the Vernon County Jail due to overcrowding issues at the Lawrence County Jail.  Jones was transported to Lawrence County for a court appearance today, Monday November 27. 

After his court appearance, Jones was awaiting transport back to Vernon County.  Jones along with other inmates were being placed into the Vernon County transport van outside the Lawrence County Jail.  While the Vernon County Deputy was securing the other inmates, Jones, who was belly chained, took advantage of the Deputy's divided attention and fled the scene.

The Deputy gave a short chase and lost sight of Jones.  The Vernon County deputy then returned to the Lawrence County Jail to report the escape.  Immediately, area law enforcement was notified of the escape and assistance was requested.

Law Enforcement from Lawrence County including the Lawrence County Auxiliary, Mt. Vernon PD, Verona PD, MSHP, Missouri Department of Conservation, Dade County SO, Jasper County SO, Greene County SO, Christian County SO, Webster County SO, Stone County SO, Joplin PD, Wheaton PD, Miller PD, Monett PD and Aurora/Marionville PD assisted by providing manpower, aerial drones, K-9 units, aircraft and thermal cameras.

A search of the immediate area was conducted and a short time later a Lawrence County Deputy who was walking alleyways located the suspect in a brush pile behind a burned out residence near the intersection of Cherry and McCanse in Mt. Vernon.

The deputy announced he had located the suspect and requested assistance.  Several citizens who were also on the look out for Jones heard the deputies request for assistance and responded on foot to help.

Jones was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Lawrence County Jail where he was transferred back to Vernon County.