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Inmate on trial for escape

Johnny Hall

Johnny Hall

Jury selection in the trial of Johnny Hall Jr. began Monday morning at the Pearl River County Courthouse in Poplarville.

Hall was arrested on Feb. 8, 2012 after leading law enforcement on a chase after he escaped from custody during his father’s funeral, said Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

Tucker said at the time of the funeral, Hall was serving time for three counts of burglary of a dwelling at Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.

The funeral took place in Picayune on Feb. 3, 2012 and Hall was transported by Mississippi Department of Corrections to the funeral home, Tucker said.

It was during the funeral that Hall escaped, Tucker said. The sheriff’s department was later informed that he was seen in Walkiah. When officers conducted a traffic stop on Hall on Feb. 8, he fled in his vehicle, leading officers on a chase up Mississippi Highway 43 to Mississippi Highway 26 and into Bogalusa, La, Tucker said.

In Bogalusa, he also led officers on a foot chase before he was apprehended, Tucker said.

Tucker said Hall was found with a handgun.

Hall was indicted on December 17, 2012 for escape charges, felony fleeing and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, said Circuit Clerk Vickie Hariel.

Judge Prentiss Harrell is overseeing the case.

Assistant District Attorney Clay Cranford is representing the state in the case and Tommy Schwartz and John Howell are the defense attorneys.