Miss. Supreme Court declines to hear ex-Laurel councilman’s appeal

Published 8:48 pm Friday, February 1, 2008

The Mississippi Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of former Laurel City Councilman Joseph Glenn Jones, who was convicted in 2006 of attempted escape, a felony that cost him his seat on the council.

A Jones County jury found Jones guilty of attempted escape when he tried to flee from Jones County Adult Detention Center on Nov. 27, 2005.

Jones was being held on a sexual battery indictment when he made the escape attempt.

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Circuit Judge Billy Joe Landrum sentenced Jones to 30 months in prison and removed him from the city council.

The state Court of Appeals upheld Jones’ conviction and sentence last year. The Supreme Court on Thursday declined without comment to hear Jones’ appeal.

On appeal, Jones argued that Hurricane Katrina, rather than he, was responsible for making a hole in the prison’s fence through which he attempted escape. Jones said prosecutors failed to prove the attempted escape charge.

The Appeals Court said witnesses testified seeing Jones trying to scale the fence at the county jail in Ellisville. Witnesses said Jones was in the exercise yard, went over to the fence, pried apart two adjoining sections of the fence, but got stuck himself inside the hole created in the fence.

Jail officials also testified there was no damage to the fence before Jones’ attempted escape.