3 women arrested in Hancock County inmate escape; man still missing

Police still searching for missing prisoner

Sun HeraldJune 30, 2014 

HANCOCK COUNTY -- After two Hancock County inmates climbed over razor wire-topped fences to freedom, one has been captured, one is on the lam and three women have been arrested for helping them, according to the sheriff's office.

Chief Deputy Don Bass said Perry Decedrio Thomas, 28, and Montrell Lederick McPherson, 21, scaled three fences Sunday -- two topped with razor wire -- around a recreation yard to escape. The yard is monitored by security cameras, he said, and the two were able to climb quickly.

Officers found an injured McPherson on the side of the road near the jail, Bass said, and he is back in custody. He didn't make it across the road to a red Pontiac where authorities say Rhakeea Lyons, 25, was waiting, but Thomas did.

Lyons was arrested near the Louisiana state line but Thomas was not with her, leading deputies to believe she dropped him off and he may have run to the Pearlington area.

Since that time, two other women have been arrested in connection with the escape -- Shondreka Lee, 25, and Shemeki Ray, 20.

Hancock County chief investigator Glenn Grannan said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Ray on Monday night in Slidell.

The women have been transporting Thomas, handing him off to each other, he said.

Lyons was waiting at the jail, and she took him to Lee, who took him to Ray, he said.

All three are charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive.

Thomas had been arrested Saturday on a sexual battery charge, traffic charges and a probation warrant from the Mississippi Department of Corrections. He was being held with no bond.

McPherson had been in jail since Feb. 20. He was being held on two counts each of robbery and sexual battery, with bonds that total $80,000.

Bass said the sheriff's office is working with U.S. Secret Service, Slidell Police Department and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office on the investigation.

The escape is the jail's first since the complex opened in 2012.

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