Sheriff: Attempted escape highlights need for new jail
Jason Horn, 38, arrives at Little River Co. Courthouse without incident
Damaged sheriff's vehicle - May 17, 2011
Point of impact: Guard rail on I-30 in Little River County, AR - May 17, 2011
Jason Horn, 38, arrives at Little River Co. Courthouse without incident - May 31, 2011
ASHDOWN, AR (KSLA) -
The inmate accused of causing a wreck during transport from the Little River County Courthouse two weeks ago was back court today, this time without incident. But the sheriff says a new county jail is needed cut down on security risks.
38-year-old Jason Horn was scheduled to appear in court on charges related to drug and firearms charges in an Ashdown meth bust on May 12. He has been held in the Hempstead County jail in Hope since his arrest, but has to be transported to Little River County Courthouse in Ashdown for court hearings because Little River does not have a jail of its own.
Charges are still pending in connection to the May 17th incident in which Horn allegedly grabbed the wheel of the deputy's car on the way back to the jail following an appearance in Little River County court. The deputy's unit hit a guard rail on I-30, but Horn did not escape.
Little River County Sheriff's officials say the incident highlights the need for a jail in Little River County. Russell has also indicated security for the rest of the county could be compromised because his deputies are tied up with transporting inmates from various jails around southwest Arkansas to and from court hearings in Ashdown.
The county's jail was closed Jan. 1, 2009 for failing to meet state jail standards. The county now pays to house inmates in Miller, Sevier and Sebastian counties in Arkansas and in Bowie County, Texas.
Voters in Little River County have twice rejected a sales tax increase to build a new county jail.
County Sheriff Danny Russell says they are working on bringing the issue back to the voters again, but could not offer a timeline.