Willis taken into custody

A Union County inmate who escaped was captured the night of Sept. 7 in Panola County, according to Sheriff Jimmy Edwards.

Edwards said he believes inmate Richard Willis escaped Sept. 5.

Willis, 34, was a trustee on the joint county state inmate work program who picked up garbage on the side of the road.

The trustees are housed in a building behind the jail. The building is enclosed by a fence, and Edwards said he believes Willis went under the fence and escaped.

Willis, who is from Enid, was serving time for burglary and possession of meth, Edwards said.

He had been an inmate and trustee at the Union County Jail since February.

Willis was captured around 11 p.m. Sept. 7 in Pope, Miss. and transferred to the Parchman prison.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office has a detainer placed on Willis to bring him back here so he can be charged with felony jail escape, Edwards noted.

Tema Tutor, 30, of Panola County, was also arrested and charged with aiding and abetting Willis' escape. She is accused of picking Willis up in a vehicle after his escape, the sheriff said.

Edwards thanked the U.S. Marshals Service, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the Panola County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

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