Third inmate back in custody after Newton Co. breakout

Published 4:49 pm Friday, October 5, 2007

A search of a Meridian home on Wednesday resulted in the arrest of an escaped convict from the Newton County jail.

Meridian police, acting on a tip, arrested Christopher Michael Stevens. He was the last of three inmates being sought after Tuesday’s break out from the Newton County jail.

Police said Stevens was the only person inside the house when he was apprehended.

Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight said he’s relieved the search is over.

“We’ve got them, thanks to the good Lord. I can breathe again,” said Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight.

Stevens, Issac Nelson, James Thompson broke out of the jail after overpowering a jailer, Knight said.

Stevens was held on a probation violation. Nelson is a suspect in a murder in Scott County. Thompson, whose charge was not available, was caught about a hundred yards away from the jail.

Nelson, 18, who was caught Tuesday, has been charged with capital murder in the Feb. 26 death of Shannon Torrence, a senior at Scott Central High School. Torrence was found murdered in a wooded area in the Midway community. Nelson and Craig Lashoun McBeath, 19, were arrested in the case.

Nelson originally was brought to neighboring Newton County because of overcrowding at the Scott County Detention Facility.

Five months ago, Nelson made his first attempt to flee custody, getting out of the Newton County Jail for several hours.

Nelson is scheduled to stand trial Nov. 15 in Scott County Circuit Court. No date has been set McBeath’s trial, prosecutors said