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Lauderdale County escapee captured in Georgia

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 1, 2001
A Meridian man who escaped from Lauderdale County's jail in April is expected to be returned Tuesday after being captured by Georgia authorities.
Lauderdale County Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said Derek Houston, 22, 5005 Druid Lane, was pulled over by Decatur, Ga., police on a routine traffic stop about 4:30 Friday morning.
Using fingerprints, police learned the man was most likely the Lauderdale County Detention Facility escapee who was awaiting trial for armed robbery and aggravated assault, Mitchell said.
Mitchell said Houston is also wanted in Thomasville, Ala., on bank robbery charges and on robbery charges in Texas.
Houston had escaped the county's jail in April by climbing a wall in the jail's visitation room and breaking through an air conditioning vent and a portion of the ceiling
Since that time, razor wire has been installed in the jail's ceiling and over the entire visitation area.
Mitchell said Houston will have an extradition hearing on Monday, and officials here are hopeful he will be returned on Tuesday to face felony escape charges.
Houston will not be jailed with the general jail population upon his return, Mitchell said. Instead, he will be in 23-hour lockdown until he is turned over to Mississippi Department of Corrections officials.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at