By Monica Land
JACKSON – An escaped Rankin County inmate was discovered dead in his jail cell one day after being found in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Officials with the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) said 27-year-old Bryan Owens was found hanging from his cell late Tuesday afternoon.
MDOC Spokesperson Tara Booth said officers were serving dinner when they found Owens hanging from a sheet in his cell.
Owens was housed alone, Booth said, and he was pronounced dead at 5:09 p.m.
Owens escaped on Sunday, March 24.
“He was discovered missing around 4:30 p.m. from the facility in Yazoo City,” Booth said. “He was last seen wearing MDOC state-issued green and white striped pants and a white MDOC shirt with “MDOC Convict” printed on the back.”
Owens was serving a 12-year sentence for burglary, vehicle theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Those crimes occurred in Harrison County.
Owens had been in MDOC custody since Sept. 2, 2010, Booth said.
Authorities were searching for Owens when he, and a female accomplice, 28-year-old Charmane Hinson, were spotted sitting in a vehicle in a Pine Bluff Wal-Mart parking lot about 12:38 a.m.
“The two were apprehended by the Pine Bluff Police Department with the assistance of MDOC Corrections Investigation Division Investigators,” Booth said.
Hinson, a Brandon resident, has been charged with aiding an escapee and she is being held at the Yazoo County jail. Her initial court appearance is pending and her bond amount has not been set.
Booth said Owens was facing an additional five years in custody on
the escape charge.