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Local inmate escapes from prison


Authorities across the state are searching for a former Alcorn County inmate who escaped from the Mississippi Department of Corrections after a previous escape in Alcorn County.

Jonathan Blankenship, 31, was discovered missing from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County during a Friday morning head count.

Blankenship was serving five years in prison after being convicted in Alcorn County on aggravated assault on a police officer and conspiracy to commit a crime.

He escaped from Alcorn County deputies in May 2018 while being transported to Magnolia Regional Health Center and was recaptured just before noon the following day after being spotted by a homeowner in the Wenasoga area.

Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell said he has no specific information indicating Blankenship might be headed toward Alcorn County, but with his personal ties to the area it is entirely possible he could be attempting to make his way here.

Deputies have been placed on alert to watch for the inmate. Caldwell said Blankenship should be considered dangerous and possibly armed and anyone who sees him or might have any information on his whereabouts should call the 911 or the sheriff's department immediately.

Blankeship is one of three inmates who escaped from MDOC custody Friday. Christopher Benson High, 28, also escaped from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. Benny Ray Blansett, 57, escaped from the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman.

High was serving a 12-year sentence for burglary from Carroll County.

Blansett was serving a life sentence for forgery, aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary and escape from jails in Marion and Sunflower counties.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.