Prisoner walks out of jail, sets off hunt in Ark.


BATESVILLE, Ark. - Authorities on Thursday were looking for a prisoner who reportedly eluded an inattentive guard and walked out the back door of the Independence County jail the night before.

Gary Andrew Johns, 35, was awaiting trial on charges of firstdegree battery and being a felon in possession of a firearm, Capt. Bill Lindsey of the sheriff's office said.

"We're looking into what happened, how it happened," Lindsey said. "He just walked out the back door. The guard wasn't paying attention." Johns was being held in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Authorities searched the area around the jail, near downtown at the western edge of Main Street, after Johns fled at 7 p.m. Wednesday. They extended their search to Sulphur Rock, 10 miles east of Batesville, after Johns was reportedly seen there Thursday morning.

Also, police arrested a man after being told that he had picked up Johns at a home in Batesville and driven him to a residence in Sulphur Rock. Lindsey did not name the man but said he would be arraigned today in Independence County District Court.


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