Woman faces charges over inmate escape

Published 6:34 pm Friday, October 1, 2010

Six escapees from the Lincoln County Jail ended up back wherethey started Thursday night, and an accomplice believed to havehelped the group flee has been taken into custody.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said Christy Vige, 32, of NewOrleans, is being held in Louisiana and charged with six counts ofaccessory after the fact relative to escape after being taken intocustody Wednesday morning alongside the last escapee to becaptured.

Vige’s name was allegedly used to rent two rooms at separate hotelsin the city where all six inmates were captured, with five caughtin one room around 5 a.m. and the sixth – Bobby J. Hudson, of 306Brister St. – apprehended alongside Vige shortly after 9 a.m.Wednesday.

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“She’s being charged in Louisiana for sure. We’re trying to work onour end of it now,” Rushing said Friday. “We’re going to be talkingto the six guys to determine what we can verify before we chargeher up here.”

Rushing said Vige, whom the U.S. Marshals Service identifies asChristy Douglas, is likely Hudson’s girlfriend and lived inBrookhaven for a time earlier this year before moving to NewOrleans.

“We know she rented the hotel rooms for them. We’re trying todetermine if she picked them up here or met them at a location inLouisiana,” Rushing said. “We’re backtracking to verify if therewas another person or if she was the main ride for them.”

With Vige in custody in Louisiana and not going anywhere soon,Rushing is planning a thorough interview of the six escapees, whoreturned to the Lincoln County Jail from the Jefferson Parish Jailaround 7:30 p.m. Thursday after waiving extradition.

“They didn’t hardly say a word when they came back,” Rushing said.”I made other accommodations for them.”

The six lost and now found inmates include Ahmad R. Butler, 22, of920 Chippewa St.; James R. Durr, 33, of 1620 East Nola Road; AustinR. Hart, 16, of 338 Bogue Chitto Road; Hudson; Justin S. Leake, 31,of 2883 Grandview Lane; and Chad M. Wallace, 29, of 148 WakefieldLane.

Butler is charged with murder in the June 17 shooting death of21-year-old Anthony Nichols of McComb, who was shot in the headnear a gas station on South First Street in Brookhaven.

Durr is charged with grand larceny of personal property, while Hartis facing charges of burglary of a motor vehicle. Hart, 16, isbeing tried as an adult.

The remaining three inmates face various drug charges. All wereawaiting trial. All will now be charged with escape, which carriesa maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The inmates escaped sometime around midnight Monday by apparentlyremoving a plexiglass window in their cell, forcing apart the metalslats that shielded the window on the outside and climbing downfrom the third floor of the jail with bed sheets tied together as arope. Rushing said the group appears to have heated up theplexiglass to make it easier to remove.

With all the escapees back in local custody, a jail-wide securityreview Rushing instituted earlier this week is continuing.

“We’ve done some physical plant changes, policy changes and we’reworking through the steps to make sure this doesn’t occur again,”he said. “I don’t know of any jail that’s escape proof.”