GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Two men who broke out of the Harrison County Jail last year, William Arevalo and Dustin Griffin, pleaded guilty to escape and other charges Tuesday.
On January 27, 2008, the inmates used a cell door to ram through the jail wall. Four inmates escaped that day, exposing serious security problems at the jail.
In addition to the escape charge, Arevalo also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for the stabbing of a man at a Gulfport trailer park in 2007. Assistant District Attorney Joel Smith said Arevalo was sentenced to ten years on the aggravated assault charges, with five years suspended and the maximum five years on the escape charge. The sentences will run concurrently, so Arevalo will serve five years.
Arevalo, a Mexican national in the country illegally, will be turned over to immigration authorities after completing his jail term.
At the time of the escape, Griffin was in jail on an armed robbery charge from Biloxi. Griffin pleaded guilty to robbing Soloman Liquor in Beauvoir Road on January 3, 2008. Officials say he placed a gun on the counter and demanded money. Assistant D.A. Smith said Griffin got away with $240 and a bottle of Jim Beam.
Griffin was sentenced to 15 years with seven suspended on the armed robbery charge and four years on the escape charge. He'll spend 12 years in prison.
A third inmate charged in the escape, Mark Kee Brown, is believed to be the organizer of the jail break. He's still awaiting trial on the escape charge and a capital murder charge.
This was not the first time Brown has escaped from the Harrison County jail. In 2000, he broke out and was on the run for 18 days. In July 2005, Brown was arrested and charged with the shooting death of D'Iberville resident Larry Turner. Police called it a botched robbery.