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Inmate flees mom’s funeral and gets 900 miles away in cuffs, Mississippi officials say

A Mississippi inmate who got away from prison guards while being escorted to his mom’s funeral was captured in northern Ohio, authorities said.

A Mississippi inmate who got away from prison guards while being escorted to his mom’s funeral was captured in northern Ohio, authorities said.

A Mississippi inmate who got away from guards while being escorted to his mother’s funeral has been caught — nearly 900 miles away, according to corrections officials.

Authorities captured 33-year-old Garnett Hughes in northern Ohio on Tuesday after a five-day search, the Mississippi Department of Corrections said in a statement. U.S. Marshals, who aided in the arrest, said Hughes was still wearing one of his handcuffs.

He’s gotten away from guards at least twice before, The Clarion Ledger reported, and escaped yet again as a pair of officers escorted him to the funeral service in Belzoni, Mississippi, on the morning of Sept. 10. Hughes was serving multiple life sentences for kidnapping and sexual battery at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, about 90 miles east of Jackson.

Authorities also arrested Hughes’ girlfriend, Yvette Mendoza of Ohio, for allegedly aiding in his latest escape.

It’s unclear if Hughes made it to his mom’s funeral. McClatchy News reached out to the MDOC on Thursday and is awaiting a response.

This story was originally published September 16, 2021 1:15 PM.

Tanasia is a national Real-Time reporter based in Atlanta covering Georgia, Mississippi and the southeastern U.S. She also covers retail and consumer news. She’s an alumna of Kennesaw State University and joined McClatchy in 2020.

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