Pearl River County man dies in prison cell

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 7, 2017

Two-time jail escapee Johnny Hall Jr., 35, of Pearl River County, reportedly died in his cell while in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
According to a Mississippi Department of Corrections release, Hall was found dead in his cell by corrections officers at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman Tuesday. The release states that Hall was unresponsive when corrections officers found him.
Hall was serving 30 years for three counts of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling that occurred in Pearl River County in addition to two convictions of escape.
Previous coverage states that Hall escaped the custody of two Wilkinson County Correctional Facility officers while attending his father’s funeral held on February 3, 2012 in Picayune, previous Item coverage states. As two corrections officers escorted Hall back to the prison transport vehicle, a woman, identified as Gina Ray, attempted to give Hall a hug, but instead shoved him into a black Honda Accord before running to the driver’s seat and driving away.
Five days later, Hall was found driving near Walkiah after Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle he was driving. Hall fled in the vehicle on Mississippi Highway 43 to Highway 26 into Bogalusa, previous coverage states. He was apprehended later that day after a brief foot chase.
In February 2016, Hall was arrested again for attempted escape in Lauderdale County, according to previous coverage.
MDOC is currently investigating the cause and manner of Hall’s death and an autopsy is pending, an MDOC release states.
MDOC Department of Communications public relations personnel declined to provide more information about Hall’s death at this time because the incident is still under investigation.

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