Arkansas News

Inmate Says He Escaped Jail to See Pregnant Fiance


Hours later and back in cuffs, Billy Parrish says he messed up.

“It won’t happen again,” says Parrish.

Parrish took off Thursday morning from the Woodruff County Jail.

“I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never ran from any jail before that I’ve ever been locked up in,” says Parrish.

Woodruff County Sheriff Phil Reynolds says Parrish was in jail on Driving on a Suspended License charge, a misdemeanor.

“The inmate was standing right here and he had already dressed out getting ready to be released and when he heard he was wanted he just [went] out that door and ran toward the cemetery,” says Sheriff Reynolds.

Parrish was wanted on warrants out of White County.

Sheriff Reynolds ordered several schools into lockdown during Parrish’s six hours of freedom.

“I cut my hands up a little bit jumping the fence,” says Parrish.

Sheriff Reynolds says several other agencies responded to help in the search.

“The dogs from ADC [Arkansas Department of Correction] tracked him but showed he crossed a street or two but evidently he stayed in this stuff here, this thick vegetation,” says Sheriff Reynolds.

While Parrish was hiding from deputies in the grass, he says there was one moment when he thought the escape was over.

“I did hear the dogs and I was thinking in my head, oh man they got the dogs on me now they’re going to find me it’s just a matter of time, but they just stepped right over over me and didn’t know I was there,” says Parrish.

Parrish says he gave himself up around 3 p.m. while walking down the street then realizing how close he was to the jail.

“I came out from hiding and started walking down the street. I think I tried to wave somebody down,” says Parrish.

The Sheriff questions if the inmate would have given himself up so quickly if he knew more people in Augusta.

“He doesn’t have a lot of people here. He had some he knew but not many. He was in strange territory and not familiar with it,” says Sheriff Reynolds.

While Parrish sleeps in jail tonight, he has a message for the fiancé he says he escaped for.

“Baby, I’m sorry. I was just trying to come home to you. I love you,” says Parrish.

Parrish is facing escape charges. He will be in the Woodruff County Jail until at least Monday.

Sheriff Reynolds says they hope to break ground on a new jail in September. He says the new jail is a facility that would have likely prevented Thursday’s escape.

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