Leake sheriff: ‘Human error’ resulted in inmate escape

Published 6:26 pm Friday, August 18, 2006

Leake County Sheriff Greg Waggoner said “human error” lead to the escape of an inmate from a work detail this week.

Two armed guards were watching inmates working on the construction site of the new sheriff’s department when Jerome Maurice Wall, 38, escaped Tuesday, Waggoner said.

Wall was still at large Friday.

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“When it was time to go in, one of the inmates told one of the guards (Wall) had already gone in. That’s why he didn’t catch him missing at the moment,” Waggoner said Thursday.

Waggoner would not comment on whether any disciplinary action would be taken against the two guards.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections, U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and several other law enforcement agencies are assisting deputies in their search for Wall.

Beginning his life sentence without parole in October 1996, Wall was convicted as a habitual offender on possession of marijuana charges in Panola County.

Wall had also served a 10-year sentence in Shelby County, Tenn., for aggravated robbery and a three-year sentence before then, but MDOC spokeswoman Tara Frazier wasn’t sure for what crime that sentence was served.