Angola Inmate Captured After 5 Days on the Run

Angola Inmate Captured After 5 Days on the Run

POSTED: Monday, September 14, 2009 - 3:55pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

Smith escaped from the Louisiana State Penitentiary on Thursday, September 10th. He was working on a prison litter detail when he escaped into the densely wooded area surrounding Angola.

Since his escape, all visits to the prison have been canceled. Angola search teams have been assisted by local, state and federal law enforcement and correctional officers including Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, Avoyelles Correctional Center, Dixon Correctional institute and Sheriff Office's from West Feliciana, West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, East Baton Rouge, LaFourche, Pointe Coupee, St. Tammany, Concordia, Livingston and, West Feliciana, Zachary and Baker Police Departments, LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, LA State Police and US Marshals Service.

They searched around the clock in the densely wooded, rugged terrain along Highway 66 - which is the main rout in and out of Angola.

As a result of Smith's Escape, LA Wildlife and Fisheries has closed down the Tunica Hills Wildlife Management Area. In addition the West Feliciana School System shut down Tunica Elementary. Students have been transported to Bains and Bains Lower Elementary Schools in St. Francisville. Now that Smith has been captured, the school system says students will return to Tunica Elementary tomorrow. Today, they remain at Bains Lower Elementary in St. Francisville.

This just in from the Louisiana Department of Corrections:

Angola escapee Henry Smith was apprehended this morning shortly before 8:00 a.m. just a mile from our staging area on the Pinckneyville Road in the Tunica area. A correctional officer spotted Smith in a sandy creek bed under a bridge on the Pinckneyville Road. The officer aimed his weapon and ordered Smith to surrender at which time Smith gave himself up.

Warden Cain stated “Smith will be charged with escape as well as be held responsible for paying restitution in the full amount of this escape. This means he won’t be buying any zuzu’s for a long time.” Warden Cain also stated, “we were pleased to have received an email at the start of this chase from Department of Administration Commissioner Angele Davis from Governor Bobby Jindal stressing that money was no option – that public safety was first and foremost and that all state resources would be available to us in order to capture this fugitive.”

This massive man-hunt included a response which literally involved hundreds of local police and Sheriff’s deputies, state correctional officers, probation and parole agents from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, agents from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana State Police, fugitive agents from the U.S. Marshal’s Service. We offer special thanks to the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association for their constant and unwavering support. We would be remiss if we did not also acknowledge the various and countless non-security, support staff that responded to assist as well. We also recognize the family members of those who came to provide help over the past 5 non-stop days and 4 nights.

U.S. Marshal Henry Geberth is acknowledged for his work in investigating all outside connections possibly involved with Henry Smith.

Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary James M. LeBlanc and Chief of Operations Jeff Travis remained at the penitentiary for the entire event to support and coordinate the statewide mobilization of specialized correctional and probation and parole staff.

We appreciate that Sheriff Jeff Wiley from Ascension, Sheriff Mike Cazes from West Baton Rouge, Sheriff Bud Torres from Pointe Coupee and Sheriff Austin Daniel from West Feliciana were actively involved on-site throughout the chase and apprehension efforts.

Police Chief Jimmy Ray Reese from Centreville, MS, Sheriff Reginald Jackson from Wilkinson County, MS, Police Chief Jessie Stewart from Woodville, MS are acknowledged for their personal response to aid us in following leads in nearby Mississippi.

The following list includes local law enforcement, state and federal agencies that responded and the resources they responded with to aid us.

U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Team.
Louisiana National Guard – chemical infrared light sticks
Louisiana State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries field agents.
Louisiana State Department of Public Safety and Corrections – Avoyelles Correctional Center, David Wade Correctional Center, Dixon Correctional Institute, Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, Forcht Wade Correctional Center, J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center, C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center, B.B. Rayburn Correctional Center and the Division of Probation and Parole.
Louisiana State Police helicopter unit.
West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office – all divisions including, Crisis Response Team (helicopters and boats), Special Response Team, Detectives, Maintenance, Uniform Patrol, Communications, Narcotics, Detention and Administrative Staff.
East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office – Special Operations
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office – Special Operations
West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office – Special Operations
Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office – Night vision
St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office – Bear Cat tactical unit, Thermal Imagery, FLIR
LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s Office - Night vision
Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office – Special Operations
St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office – Special Operations
Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office – Night vision
Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office – Night vision
St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office – Night vision, ATV
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office – Special Operations
Corcordia Parish Sheriff’s Office – Night vision
Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office - Special Operations
Baker Police Department – Special Operations
Zachary Police Department – Special Operations
Baton Rouge Police Department – Chief Jeff LeDuff offered all resources.
Baton Rouge Constable’s Office – Uniform Patrol
We appreciate also the offers of assistance from the following Sheriff’s Offices: Calcasieu, Natchitoches, Morehouse, Webster, Orleans, Terrebonne, Madison, and Plaquemines.

We greatly appreciate the patience and vigilance of the public, especially West Feliciana Parish residents and neighboring residents of MS counties, and the support of the print, radio and television media in assisting us in providing updates and closure notifications.