Sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers thwarted a prison escape last week when an inmate swallowed an object as part of a plot to take a nurse hostage and flee, officials said.
The escape attempt began Nov. 8 when Jessie Allan Millis, 25, of Picayune, told Hancock County jail guards he’d swallowed a razor blade, Assistant Warden Amanda Parker said.
Millis was in jail after being arrested the previous day on more than a dozen charges including assaulting a police officer and eluding officers in a vehicle and in a foot pursuit. He now faces an additional charge of attempted escape from a correctional facility.
He told guards he accidentally swallowed a razor blade slipped into his drink by another inmate when he wasn’t looking, Parker said.
While Millis was under initial observation at the jail’s medical unit, officials received word he had hatched a plan to escape.
“He kind of fabricated this story that another inmate put it in his cup and he accidentally swallowed it,” Parker said. “From the information we got, we knew he had something up his sleeve to try and get out.”
Informants told authorities Millis planned to escape when security was reduced, either at the medical unit, the hospital or while in transit to and from the hospital — even if it required taking a nurse or someone else hostage, Parker said.
“They said he planned to escape and was going to take hostages if necessary,” she said.
Parker increased security but still had to order him taken to the ER in case he had swallowed a razor blade. She notified hospital staff and had additional deputies posted in and around the hospital.
“He knew something was up because we had extra people there watching him,” the assistant warden said.
Medical staff later confirmed Millis did swallow something, but it appeared to be non-metallic. Sheriff Ricky Adam said it appeared to be a small piece of a razor wrapped in a paper towel, but not the blade.
The doctor determined Millis could allow it to pass naturally through his digestive system, Parker said.
“He was a little irate about it,” she said. “I disclosed to him that I knew what he was up to, and he wasn’t very happy.”
Millis was returned to the jail without incident.
His initial arrest Nov. 7 netted 14 charges, including three felonies and 11 misdemeanors. Deputies had chased him by car and on foot after Millis refused to pull over for a traffic violation on Lower Bay Road, sheriff’s officials said.
Chief Deputy Don Bass said Millis bailed out, leaving a female passenger in the truck, and ran into the nearby woods.
Deputies searched for several hours until they eventually caught him. One of the deputies was injured while Millis was resisting arrest, Bass said.
At the time, he was on probation for robbery/larceny convictions, an out-of-state charge of simple burglary and other pending felony charges. A probation-violation charge and a Mississippi Department of Corrections hold was added to last week’s lengthy rap sheet. Because of this, he is being held without bond in the Hancock County jail.