COLUMBIA, Miss. (AP) - Authorities in south Mississippi were searching Tuesday for one inmate still at large after eight prisoners apparently managed to chip through a jailhouse wall with an improvised chisel and escape.
Seven of the men were captured within 19 hours of the jailbreak, authorities said. The only one still on the lam was Eric Ball, 19, who had been jailed since June on charges of breaking and entering.
Guards at the Marion-Walthall Correctional Facility realized the eight men were missing just before dawn Monday during a head count. The men had been staying in a room of about 30 inmates.
Deputies found a piece of a bunk bed that had been fashioned into a chisel, which had apparently been used to chip through a solid wall on the jail's south side, Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall said. The escape might have been made easier, because razor wire on that side of the jail had been taken down to accommodate a jail expansion project, Hall said.
"They chiseled right through it. Imagine, you have a regular block, then (steel) rods through it and then fill it with concrete. That's what they dug through," he said.
The seventh inmate was captured Monday night. Derrick Rainey, 21, was arrested at a motel in south Hattiesburg, about 34 miles away, authorities said. Three of the men were found about 12 miles away, north of downtown Columbia, and three on the side of a highway just south of Little Rock, Ark., roughly 370 miles away.
All of the men are expected to face additional charges, but none had been charged by Tuesday morning.
Search crews were extremely concerned about the break because one inmate was awaiting trial on capital murder charges, and another was serving a life sentence for a homicide conviction. The other men were jailed on charges or convictions ranging from drug possession to larceny.
"I don't like the community feeling like they can't go out in the yard and rake the leaves, you know? So, it's a big relief," Hall said.
Octomom fell fast from Miracle Mom to punch line By JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It seems so long ago now, but for just a day or two last month Nadya Suleman was known as Miracle Mom, the amazing woman who gave birth to the longest-surviving set of octuplets.
But in short order the public learned that Miracle Mom was also Single Mom, Unemployed Mom and Welfare Mom. And as fast as you could Twitter "I hate Nadya Suleman," scores of Web sites were dedicated to denouncing the so-called Octomom, others to making fun of her, a rap music video lampooned her ("pops 'em out like a toaster/needs a pacifier holster") and angry citizens threatened to kill her publicists.
"In terms of reaction to her, I would say not in my experience have I ever seen anything like it. And I would add that I was involved in public relations for Three Mile Island after the accident," said publicist Mike Furtney, who quit representing Suleman after receiving death threats. (Lest anyone forget, the Three Mile Island accident of 1979 involved the partial meltdown of a nuclear reactor that for a time threatened to prompt the evacuation of a wide swath of Pennsylvania.)
Not that Suleman is the first person to go radioactive overnight. Don't forget O.J. Simpson.
But as pop culture historian Leo Braudy points out, Suleman has never been accused of killing anybody.
"This is not something that is usually considered a crime," Braudy, who teaches at University of Southern California, said of giving birth to children. "It's something that in the past was celebrated. People would say congratulations."
Of the nearly 50 Suleman discussion groups found on facebook.com this week, however, not one was headlined "Congratulations, Nadya!"
Instead there were titles like, "Nadya Suleman Should Be Sterilized," "Nadya Suleman Disgusts Me," and "Stop Idiot Moms Like Nadya Suleman." (And those were the printable ones.)
To be fair, there were also a handful of pro-Suleman groups, although the "Leave Nadya Suleman Alone" one had only 61 members on Monday compared with the 3,478 people who had joined the "What Nadya Suleman Did Was Totally Wrong" group.
Although never venerated as a candidate for mother of the year, Suleman was, for about two days after the Jan. 26 birth of her octuplets, more the subject of curiosity than of ridicule and scorn.
That began to change as it became known she was a single mother with 14 children who was living on a combination of food stamps, student loans and disability claims while her elderly mother, who was caring for Suleman's six older children, couldn't make her mortgage payments.
It didn't help, either, that Suleman's own parents have publicly criticized her decision to have so many kids, or that Suleman bears a striking resemblance (some speculate a plastic-surgery-enhanced one) to that other famous mother, Angelina Jolie, and that she's been said to be looking for book, TV and movie deals.
That prompted Los Angeles Times blogger Elizabeth Snead to joke that Suleman, like Jolie, might someday become a U.N. goodwill ambassador.
"Probably not," Snead quickly concluded. "I don't think there's a paycheck involved."
Elsewhere on the Web, Jodie Rivera, a popular YouTube parody singer known as VenetianPrincess, put up a video of herself looking eerily like Suleman. As she sang, a doctor in scrubs (also Rivera) used a baseball glove to catch flying newborns.
"It was all in good fun, to bring a laugh to a situation people are taking very seriously," said Rivera who herself acknowledges she doubts Suleman is capable of caring for 14 children and perhaps should give some up for adoption.
The site momlogic.com, which provides both lighthearted and serious reports on motherhood, also got into the act, offering eight suggestions for reality shows Suleman might do. One example: "Fear Factor: Octuplets Edition," in which contestants are lowered by harness into the Suleman home.
"Whoever can demonstrate the guts and determination to endure one round of octuplet diaper changes wins the grand prize - a lifetime supply of birth control."
Some people have offered to help Suleman, including a church pastor, a nonprofit and even the man who says he was a sperm donor for her when they were dating in the 1990s. Although Suleman has denied that Denis Beaudoin is the sperm donor who fathered her children, he told ABC he still stands ready to help.
The majority of reactions have been less than charitable, however. A USA Today-Gallup poll last week found that 70 percent of those surveyed weren't sympathetic.
USC sociologist Julie Albright says Suleman was caught in a perfect storm of events guaranteed to outrage the public, some of her own making, some not.
"First, we're in particularly sensitive economic times, people are losing their jobs," Albright said. "Second is that physical resemblance to Angelina Jolie."
Whether it's coincidental or not, Albright said, the resemblance has led many to think Suleman is a "copycat" trying to elicit the goodwill much of the public feels for actress Jolie, who with partner Brad Pitt has adopted three of their six children from other nations.
People might normally overlook that as just silly if they weren't already worried about losing their jobs and their homes and if California wasn't broke and facing the prospect of paying more than $1 million in medical bills for Suleman's babies while the state issues IOUs instead of tax refunds.
"If someone isn't stressed and something happens like their car breaks down, that's just annoying," Albright said. "But if their parent has just died and they lost their job and their kid's in jail and then their car breaks down, that risks a nervous breakdown. ... That's what's triggering this angry, emotional response in so many people."