Lowndes County Sheriff says inmate’s escape was no coincidence

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Lowndes County Sheriff Eddie Hawkins said last night’s escape was no coincidence.

“This was a planned operation,” said Hawkins.

Terry Brooks and Phillip House decided to try their luck on the outside with the help of Steven Jennings.

“Mr. Brooks was successful. The other inmate was not,” said Hawkins.

Records show that this was not Brook’s first escape attempt after facing charges for his connection with a 2020 homicide in Lowndes County.

“Prior to him being brought back on these new charges, in our system, we show over 25 felonies that he was arrested for in his career,” said Hawkins.

House was also in custody for a 2023 murder.

Jennings who helped facilitate the escape also has a record of his own, with 6 prior felony arrests and 19 misdemeanor arrests.

Hawkins said the escape began with a piece of metal and a plexiglass window.

“Once they got that piece of metal, they were able to saw through this Lexon plastic material. Once at the ventilation system, they were able to just exit the building. When they were outside the building, they still had several layers of Constantine wire and fencing to get through to get to the outside perimeter,” he said.

Hawkins said Brooks saw his chance and took it.

“He knew that once he’s convicted of this charge, there’s a possibility that he’ll never get out again. That’s why he attempted the escape. He saw an opportunity, and he saw a weakness in our security. Then, he capitalized on it,” said Hawkins.

Although Steven Jennings is now being held at the detention center on a $250,000 bond, the sheriff’s department still needs your help.

“We want the information and don’t necessarily need your name. We need eyes and ears on the street to give us this information and help get him back in custody,” said Hawkins.

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Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News