Escaped inmate steals horse

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
May 24, 2001
Kemper County officials Wednesday would not confirm whether Woodie Moody, who escaped from a Kemper jail last week, is back in custody, but said Moody was last seen riding a stolen horse through Newton County.
Officials at the Kemper-Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility said Moody, 40, was discovered missing from a maintenance detail last week between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Warden Bill Jarvis said Moody, who apparently scaled a security fence to escape, was jailed for a nonviolent offense and is not considered dangerous.
The horse was stolen Monday from a man's residence in or near DeKalb, said Newton County Chief Deputy Bill Truhitt.
Witnesses along Highway 492 reported seeing the rider. One witness who did not want to be identified said she was sitting on her front porch when he came "poking along." Seeing people riding horses along Highway 492 is not strange, she said. What was strange is the man didn't wave. He turned his face away from her and two others on the porch.
He said an expert who works for the state and specializes in livestock theft was called in from Lauderdale County to assist. Witnesses picked Moody out of a photo lineup the expert prepared, Truhitt said.
Truhitt said officials think Moody turned onto Highway 492 near the House community. He was seen riding through Union between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. and was headed toward Sebastopol, Truhitt said.
Jarvis and Kemper County Sheriff Sam Tisdale did not return calls Wednesday afternoon, and a lieutenant at the prison declined to say whether Moody remains at large.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3275, or e-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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