Convicted Mississippi murdered captured

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

NEW AUGUSTA, Miss. (AP) -- A convicted murderer who escaped just two days before he was to stand trial in another killing was captured early Wednesday. A second inmate was still at large.

Kenneth Moody led police on a five-mile chase before surrendering, Perry County sheriff's Sgt. Danny Merritt said.

Moody's cellmate, Christopher Scott Thomas, remained at large. Thomas was awaiting trial on capital murder and other charges in the slaying of an uncle.

The two men escaped late Saturday from the Perry County Jail in New Augusta.

Moody was serving a life sentence without parole for two 1995 murders and was supposed to have gone on trial Monday in another 1995 killing, that of Michael Lee, 31. Lee was stabbed to death after a fight broke out during a party.

Merritt said police were stopping traffic early Wednesday near Runnelstown after getting a report of a stolen car, and Moody drove up in a pickup.

"When he spotted me, he made a U-turn and took off and I went after him," Merritt said. "He went five miles, stopped the vehicle, got out and got on the ground. He didn't put up no fuss at all. He was kind of tired of running, basically."

The spot where Moody was caught is about 11 miles from New Augusta.

Moody, 26, and Thomas, 33, apparently cut their way into an air conditioning vent in the jail to gain access to the roof.

Sheriff Carlos Herring said he believes the two had help.

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