Authorities in Mississippi advised locals of a jailbreak in Hinds County this week as one of the two escaped inmates remained on the loose.
Escapee alert 🚨 Michael Lewis-31 (Left) and Joseph Spring-31 (Right) were both missing from the Raymond Detention Center during this morning’s official headcount. A breach in the facility was later located along with fence damage. Anyone with information call 601-352-1521. pic.twitter.com/RVefAx7qbq
— TyreeJonesSheriff (@TyreeSheriff) May 29, 2023
According to reports, a pair of men staged their escape on Monday by climbing through the Raymond Detention Center’s air duct. Police were able to apprehend 31-year-old Michael Lewis a short time later, but Joseph Spring, also 31, had not been found as of the latest updates available.
In a statement on the matter, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones explained that the escape was first discovered during a headcount on Monday morning. He said that Lewis and Spring were able to make their way “inside the ceiling” over the facility’s recreation room before entering the duct and jumping over the security fence.
A county deputy discovered unspecified items “that may have belonged to the inmates” a short distance from the jail as well as apparent blood on the ground, Jones indicated.
He apologized for the “public safety breach,” confirming that Lewis had been re-arrested and returned to the jail where he will await “additional escape charges.”
Lewis had been in jail since December following a conviction for marijuana possession and driving under the influence. Spring was locked up the previous month for burglary and violating the terms of his parole.
The latest incident occurred just over a month after four inmates were able to break out of the same jail. Two of the individuals involved in that escape died — including one who was killed during a standoff with law enforcement officers. The other two had been captured by early last month.
Last year, a judge cited “unconstitutional conditions” inside of Raymond Detention Center in a ruling calling for a federal takeover of the jail. That decision was subsequently overturned on appeal, but Jones acknowledged at the time that there were some issues with the facility that needed to be resolved.
“We are still facing the day-to-day challenges at the jail, but we are thankful for the opportunity for another court to look at the situation and see that the Hinds County Sheriff and Hinds County Board of Supervisors have been doing something right in this situation,” he said.