8 arrests made in connection with escape of McCurtain Co. inmates; 3 escapees still at large

6 charged with harboring a fugitive and/or obstruction of justice
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 1:00 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2022 at 9:56 PM CST
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MCCURTAIN COUNTY, Okla. (KSLA) — Six people were arrested Tuesday, Feb. 8 as the search continued for three McCurtain County Jail escapees.

The six, whose names have not been released, are charged with harboring a fugitive and/or obstruction of justice, Sheriff Kevin Clardy told KSLA News 12.

Those arrests are in addition to the earlier arrests of a McCurtain County jailer and a contractor’s helper.

Still on the run are three of the four inmates who broke out of the lockup in Idabel on Thursday, Feb. 3. They are 20-year-old Justin Hughes, 21-year-old Donnie Middlebrooks and 23-year-old Jerome Rutherford Jr.

Authorities captured fellow escapee 28-year-old Kolby Watson on the night of Saturday, Feb. 5 in Hochatown, the sheriff said. The tourist destination is more than 17 miles north-northeast of Idabel.

The names of the jailer and contractor’s helper also have not yet been released. But the sheriff did say that the contractor’s helper is Watson’s brother.

Clardy also said that a contractor was performing work on a second-floor jail shower when he believes that the helper purposefully left a tool behind to help the four inmates escape through the shower ceiling.

The jailer now is in the custody of the Choctaw Tribal Police.

MORE>>> 3 of 4 McCurtain escapees still at large; 1 caught

Meanwhile, personnel from multiple agencies continue to investigate and search for the remaining three inmates.

Officials said Rutherford has gang connections in Oklahoma City, so leads there are being investigated as well.

Up to a $2,500 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of the three inmates.

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