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From Staff Reports
An Alabama man sentenced to life in prison for killing his teenage friend and dumping his body on an old logging road in Greene County is back in the news again after briefly escaping from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman on Thursday.
Jonathan Matthew Moberg, 25, who is serving life for the capital murder of 16-year-old Jessie Parker in 2017, was spotted walking the streets of the Mississippi Delta community of Rome, which is near Parchman, early Thursday morning, according to a statement from the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). A local resident called authorities and a Sunflower County Sheriff’s deputy apprehended Moberg and took him to the Drew Police Department. He was shortly afterward returned to Parchman.
MDOC officials are still investigating how Moberg escaped from the prison.
“We are still interviewing staff, and all the missing links are being investigated,” Interim Commissioner Tommy Taylor said.
Moberg was found guilty by a Greene County jury in late 2018 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Circuit Judge Dale Harkey. It took the 7-woman, 5-man panel just over an hour to find Moberg, of Wilmer, Ala., guilty of killing 16-year-old Jessie Parker in May 2017 and leaving the Semmes, Ala. youth’s corpse on a logging road in Greene County just a few hundred feet off Miss. 63. The 5-day trial included testimony from 20 state witnesses.
Parker’s body was found May 31, 2017, partially-submerged in a small branch not far from the highway’s intersection with Jake Hill and Winborn Chapel roads. A member of a multi-agency search team found Parker’s corpse eight days after his mother first reported him missing.
During the trial, jurors were presented evidence suggesting Moberg’s motive in the killing was that he was upset his ex-girlfriend had sex with Parker and Moberg’s younger brother. Prosecutors showed jurors a text message Moberg sent to his younger brother saying he would “spare him” for the transgression, but would not do the same for Parker.
Prosecutors said Moberg managed to convince Parker he was no longer mad about the situation with the girlfriend and got the teenager to ride with him to Mississippi under the impression they were going to buy drugs.
Moberg’s life sentence will be his second stint in prison. At the time of Parker’s murder, he was on parole from the Alabama Department of Corrections for a previous conviction for concocting a scheme to kidnap another ex-girlfriend and kill her new boyfriend.