Video by Margaret Brinson and Beth Spain, Edited by Beth Spain
By Margaret Brinson
Jackson’s infamous out-of-towners — fugitives turned Tennessee interlopers on the run from Louisiana state prison — were apprehended in Memphis, March 14.
The two prison escapees were seized by police after a six-day search in east Jackson around the Pringles Park baseball complex. Their capture followed a car chase that resulted in a crash and trip to the hospital for one of the fugitives because of a head injury, said Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork.
The fugitives were chased from Jackson to Shelby County and for a short trip into Olive Branch, Miss., until the crash on Winchester Road in Memphis, where the Memphis city police were able to detain them.
The suspects, Ricky Wedgeworth, 36, and Darian Pierce, 33, were driving a stolen Madison County Parks and Recreation pickup truck at the time of their arrest. In an alert from the Jackson Police Department, the fugitives were reported to have stolen the vehicle after tying up two workers at Pugh Bourne Park in Oakfield, Tenn.
The FBI will take up the investigation into the fugitives’ escape from a work camp in Baton Rouge, La., where both were serving prison terms. Local authorities could not confirm where the suspects will be taken; however, murder charges of an alleged carjacking and homicide of Ohio native David Cupps are expected to be filed in Mississippi. Cupps’ body was found in Alabama.
Woolfork praised the collaboration of police teams across county and state lines. He said in Madison County alone more than 100 officers were involved in the manhunt. He also emphasized the importance of the community in the conclusion of the week’s events.
“We … have great neighborhood watch organizations, and our citizens are great citizens,” Woolfork said. “When they see anything that looks suspicious, they’re going to give us a call.”
Jackson Deputy Police Chief Barry Michael agreed.
“There’s no doubt about it. Anytime we get the citizens involved in any type of crime … we can have good results in the end,” Michael said.
According to a news release from the Louisiana State Police, Wedgeworth and Pierce were each serving 25-year prison terms — Wedgeworth for armed robbery and Pierce for attempted second-degree murder. The convicts escaped March 4.