JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - There's an internal investigation into Jackson County's inmate transport system after an inmate escaped following a court hearing Friday.
"This was just one of those incidents where we dropped the ball," said Sheriff Ezell.
Eddie Wilson escaped custody while leaving a circuit court appearance Friday at the Jackson County Courthouse.
"He was in court on a probation violation his probation had been revoked and he was being sent back to prison for domestic violence," Ezell said.
The judge handed him a 12-year sentence. What happened as he and other inmates were being taken back to jail is what's prompting the sheriff to conduct a serious internal investigation into inmate transport procedures and policies.
"This guy was the last guy in line and was able to just duck under the stairwell," Ezell said.
The sheriff said Wilson hid there undetected for several hours until everyone at the courthouse had left.
"Transported back, turned all the paperwork in, meanwhile, later shows up walking down Market Street," he said.
That's when citizens spotted him and called the police. Pascagoula officers picked him up at 10th Street and took him back to jail.
"He was still shackled, he was fully clothed in jail garb. You know, the old full suit, shackled at his feet and his hands," Ezell said.
Wilson is currently at the Jackson County Adult Detention Center and has an additional charge of felony escape.
Ezell acknowledged the busy day in court fueled by a sense of urgency from Friday's winter weather as a major factor in the incident but said it's no excuse for what happened.
"There will be some disciplinary action. Again, I have to take full responsibility as the sheriff," he said.
Ezell didn't outline what those consequences may be for the people involved in those transport operations but did say that he was looking into both officials at the courthouse and ADC.