Bolivar Co. fugitives caught

Published 4:54 pm Friday, September 15, 2006

A pair of inmates who escaped from a Bolivar County jail turned themselves in after becoming tired, witnesses said.

Billy Terry, 43, and Richard L. Bostic, 45, turned themselves in to authorities around 4 p.m. Tuesday after emerging from a swampy area completely covered in mud.

Kevin Creasy was the first to see the inmates as they waved to him from a swampy area next to his land. He instructed the inmates to lay on the ground, then shouted for authorities who were searching nearby.

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“They had to be tired,” Creasy said. “The mud is probably knee deep. It’s real thick. That alone would have made them tired. Add the mosquitoes and heavy thunderstorms all night … they were tired.”

The men escaped while working on garden detail for the Bolivar County Correctional Facility. Terry was serving 19 years for possession of a controlled substance and Bostic is serving a 10-year sentence for burglary and grand larceny when they escaped.

The maximum penalty for escape is five years. They were taken to the Mississippi State Penitentiary shortly after arriving at the jail.

Warden Tommy Taylor said the pair said they thought about returning to the jail four times while on the run, but feared they would be shot. He said at one point during a storm that hampered the search lightning struck so close to the inmates that one’s hair stood on end.

“He thought he had actually been struck by lightning,” Taylor said.

The inmates were discovered missing around 2:30 p.m. Monday after they disappeared. They told a guard they were going to roll up some garden hose and never returned.

Creasy said the area the pair escaped into — the Bogue Thalia — likely featured knee-deep mud and plenty of mosquitoes.

“They were completely covered in mud,” he said. “I suspect they did that in an attempt to keep the mosquitoes off of them Monday night. One of them had no shoes on. I’m not sure about the other one. The officers gave me a picture of them earlier, but with all that mud … they looked like brothers. I couldn’t tell them apart. I can tell you they were tired.”