Hedge clippers killer escapes Coahoma County Jail


James Johnson

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COAHOMA COUNTY, Miss. — A convicted killer serving life in prison after using hedge clippers to murder a man has escaped from the Coahoma County Jail.

According to authorities, James Johnson III was transported to the Coahoma County Jail on August 10 to appear as a witness in another court case. The case never went to trial, but Johnson was kept in the jail awaiting transport.

Early Thursday morning, Johnson escaped from jail wearing a white t-shirt and pajama bottoms.

Johnson is considered dangerous.

In 2016, he was convicted in Quitman County in the murder of Curtis Mumford. Johnson said Mumford owed him $20 because they had cut a neighbor’s grass. Johnson told investigators that he and another man killed Mumford. He said he fought with Mumford and the other man stabbed Mumford with hedge clippers.

A pathologist testified Mumford was killed by sharp-force injuries.

"Curtis was a good person," said a woman who chooses to be identified as Betty. "He was a great friend of mine. When he was alive he used to come over and mow my yard with his cousin."

Johnson was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

If you see him call the Coahoma County Sheriff's Office at (662) 624-2411 or the Mississippi Department of Corrections at (662) 745-6611.

Prior escapes

This is not the first time inmates have escaped from the Coahoma County Jail.

In August 2017, deputies launched a massive search after Marquis Stevenson, Cordarius Thomas, Percy Bryant and LeAndrew Booker all went missing.

Thomas, Bryant and Booker were all taken into custody within a week while Stevenson was able to evade police for another two months. He was finally captured in Horn Lake, Mississippi.

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