Escaped inmate explains why he walked away from work detail

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A convicted criminal who walked off of his work detail spoke exclusively to WREG.

OC Jackson told WREG’s Michael Quander he had been feeling sick and depressed since being locked up and needed to get away.

He said by the time he made it down the street and realized what he had done, it was too late.

Reporter: “Do you regret walking off?”
Jackson: “Yes sir.”

Jackson told WREG he wished he could turn back time and do things differently.

“The devil just took advantage of me, and I wish I would’ve never did that because I know I’m not that type of person,” Jackson explained.

After walking away from the work detail, Jackson’s face was plastered all over the news and social media.

Jackson was convicted of aggravated burglary in 2014 and was put on probation with time served.

According to court documents, Jackson violated probation three times and his three-year sentence was re-activated in October.

“We won’t feel comfortable until we get him back in custody,” Shelby County Department of Corrections Director Bill Gupton said.

Gupton said Jackson walked off from his job at the Sterno Factory on President’s Island around 3:00 p.m.

Gupton explained that inmates are not supervised by correctional officers — but instead — by trained employees at the work sites.

The latest disappearance marked the second time an inmate has vanished in the last two and a half years, but Gupton said he does not see the need to make any major changes.

“I don’t think that we need to drastically change anything. Are there things that we need to tweak? We need to do some more training on supervision at the work site? Maybe so. Probably so,” Gupton told WREG.

As for Jackson, he said he’s sorry.

“I’m sorry for making the news. I’m sorry for letting everybody down that had trusted me, and everybody that loved me. I’m not that type of person, but I’m ready to just turn myself in and get it over with,” he said.

Jackson told WREG he is planning on turning himself into police on Thursday.

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