From Staff Reports
A member of the Senate committee that oversees the state’s prison system has asked the state attorney general to investigate a recent inmate escape from South Mississippi Correctional Institution.
Citing concerns that officials with the Department of Corrections may not conduct an open and honest review of circumstances leading up to the July 5 escape of convicted murder Michael F. Wilson, Senator Dennis DeBar (R-Leakesville) has written Attorney General Jim Hood asking him to “conduct an immediate, official investigation into this escape.”
“Your independent investigation is needed as the Mississippi Department of Corrections may not conduct a fair and impartial review,” DeBar wrote. “And, the findings of such will not be made public.”
“Your office, and the full capabilities of your office, are what is needed to assure my citizens that measures will be taken to prevent this situation from occurring in the future.”
Michael F. Wilson, a 47-year-old state convict known as “Pretty Boy Floyd,” was discovered missing at SMCI at approximately 12:48 p.m. on Thursday, July 5. He was captured two days later in Ocean Springs after a large manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies. Floyd is serving life in prison for multiple convictions, including to for murder.
The escape, and circumstances surrounding it, raised big questions in the community concerning public safety. Much of the negative attention focused on well-known staffing shortages at SMCI and the lack of an early warning concerning the escape to people living or working in close proximity to the prison.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections did not immediately return messages from the Associated Press seeking comment Monday.
This is a developing story. See this week’s print edition of the Herald for more details.