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Leake County escapee invades Meridian home

By By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Nov. 3, 2001
A Leake County jail escapee allegedly broke into a Meridian home Friday morning, taking a woman hostage, tying her up and stealing money and a vehicle.
The home invasion occurred about 7:30 a.m.
The inmate, 47-year-old Michael Hanks, is still at large.
Hanks is a white man, about 6 feet tall and weighing 170 pounds. He escaped from the Leake County jail Wednesday night between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. He was convicted in Hinds County Circuit Court on sexual assault and burglary charges, and was serving a 59-year sentence in Leake County.
Leake County authorities said they do not know of any connection Hanks might have to the Meridian area.
Meridian police said Hanks' victim was a teacher at Lamar School. Her name was not released.
The victim was at her home on 39th Court when Hanks broke in, tied her up and fled in her white 1998 Toyota Camry. Its license plate number is KGJ-696. The teacher was found unharmed by a friend.
Waggoner said Hanks escaped through a fence at the jail.
A Union woman, 20-year-old Rachel Mechell Evans of 5602 Highway 492, has been charged with aiding and abetting in the escape. Evans told investigators on Thursday that she dropped Hanks off in an open field close to 39th Court.
Residents with information about Hanks' whereabouts are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 485-1860, in Meridian, or 917-8888, in Lauderdale County.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at fcarmichael@themeridianstar.com.

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