Escaped inmate back in custody

By Russell Hood The Webster Progress-Times

An escaped Webster County Jail inmate is back in custody and his wife has been charged with helping him.

Sheriff Tim Mitchell said U.S. marshals and county Sheriff’s Department deputies captured Davis Randle about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at 427 MS Hwy. 182 E., where he was hiding in the attic of his wife’s house. Randle, 26, did not offer any resistance when apprehended, according to Mitchell.

The escapee was taken to the Oktibbeha County Jail in Starkville, where he is being held awaiting an appearance next week in Webster County Circuit Court. The January court term begins Monday.

Mitchell said Randle escaped through the bathroom window at the county jail on Government Street around 11:15 p.m. Jan. 2, assaulting jailer Franche Fields in the process. Search dogs tracked Randle’s scent to the former Wonder/Hostess Bakery Outlet at Factory Road and East Roane Avenue (Highway 182) but lost the scent there, he said.

In addition to canine units from the Chickasaw County sheriff’s office and the Mississippi Department of Corrections at Parchman, the Eupora and Mathiston police departments assisted in the ensuing search.

Randle’s wife, Nakita Randle, 24, was arrested on charges of aiding and abetting, and hindering prosecution. She was being held in the Webster County Jail and no bond had had been set as of Tuesday afternoon pending an initial hearing.

Fields, after her assault, went to the hospital to be checked out and was all right, according to Mitchell. He said the sheriff’s office is in the process of putting bars over the bathroom window. Mitchell thanked all of the agencies that assisted in the search for and apprehension of the escapee.

Habitual Offender Circuit Court records show that Davis Randle was convicted in January 2005 of robbery and three counts of burglary of a dwelling.

In January 2012 he and another man were indicted for grand larceny in the theft of electrical wire from a construction company at East Webster High School’s temporary campus in Mathiston. The co-defendant later pleaded guilty but court records do not indicate that Randle has ever been prosecuted in the case.

Randle had been in jail at least since June 20, when he was arrested on county charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen property. The MDOC placed a “hold” him for violating probation on his previous convictions.

The grand jury recalled on Dec. 11 indicted the inmate on charges of receiving stolen property and unauthorized possession of contraband in a correctional facility. He was indicted as a habitual offender because of his previous felonies.

The first indictment alleges that on June 20 he received an iPad table and a camo bag containing various items of clothing, four DVDS and a pair of shoes that had been stolen from Daniel Howard of Starkville. The latter charge accuses Randle of having a cell phone while incarcerated at the county jail on July 25.

He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Dec. 18 before Circuit Judge Clarence Morgan III. Now Randle also faces charges stemming from his assault on the jailer and escape.