Alabama escaped prisoner caught hiding in Mandeville home

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MANDEVILLE, La. — An escaped prison inmate serving time in Alabama was arrested at a home near Mandeville, the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Department said. The two people with him were arrested on charges of harboring a fugitive. 

Chris Dwayne Williams, 44, was serving a 20-year manslaughter sentence at the Childsburg Work Release Center in Alabama when he was sent to a job site in Shelby County on July 11. 

Williams disappeared from the site, and law enforcement officials began a monthlong hunt for him. 

A break in the case came Monday evening when St. Tammany Parish deputies got word that an escaped inmate was hiding at a house on Rollins Street, north of Mandeville. 

Williams tried to escape when deputies arrived, but was caught after a brief foot chase. According to the sheriff’s department, he provided deputies with a fake name when he was taken into custody.

Deputies arrested Williams alongside two other people: 36-year-old Virgil Wilkerson of Cordova, Alabama; and 30-year-old Tara Williams of Mandeville. 

Both admitted to harboring the fugitive and helping him conceal his identity, sheriff’s officials said.  

Wilkerson was arrested and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on one charge of assisting a felon after an escape and one charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Tara Williams was booked on one charge of assisting a felon after an escape.

Chris Williams, the fugitive, gave the Mandeville address as his residence when he was booked, and was booked on three new charges: resisting an officer by flight, refusing to provide correct identification, misrepresentation during booking. He was also booked as a fugitive from the Alabama Department of Corrections. 

Authorities plan to extradite him to Alabama, but did not provide a date for his extradition hearing.  

“I am extremely pleased with the work of our deputies who immediately developed a plan to locate and apprehend the subject in the safest manner possible,” Sheriff Randy Smith said in a statement about the arrest. .

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