Guard finds gun in Unit 32 inmate’s cell at Parchman

Published 7:03 pm Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mississippi corrections officers confiscated a gun found Tuesday in the cell of an inmate in the maximum security unit of the state penitentiary at Parchman.

Mississippi Department of Corrections spokeswoman Tara Booth said a guard saw the gun about 7:45 a.m. in the cell of Patrick Hawkins, who was serving a 25-year sentence for armed robbery and aggravated assault from Holmes County. Booth said the guard, whose name was not available, was patrolling a tier of cells inside Unit 32 when the gun was discovered.

The guard was not armed. When he saw the gun, he left the tier and told a supervisor, Booth said. A team of guards returned and retrieved the firearm without incident from Hawkins, she said.

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“The offender just handed it over. No incident, just handed it over,” she said.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is investigating the incident. Booth said it is not known how the inmate, who is confined to his cell 23 hours a day, got the weapon.