Jefferson Davis Co. fugitive arrested in Panola Co.

Photo, R to L: Rachel Johnson and Robert “Kyle” Hatley
Photo, R to L: Rachel Johnson and Robert “Kyle” Hatley(Panola County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 9:56 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON DAVIS COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A Jefferson Davis County fugitive and a woman who helped him escape are in custody in Panola County.

According to Jefferson Davis County Undersheriff Terence Cooley, Robert “Kyle” Hatley escaped earlier this month from a work detail cleaning litter from the side of a roadway.

Cooley said Hatley allegedly contacted Rachel Johnson, who is believed to have been his girlfriend, and arranged a pick-up around the location when he was out of sight of observers.

The two suspects reportedly drove from Jefferson Davis County to Panola County, where they stayed in a residence near Sardis, Miss.

Maj. Clint Roberson from the Panola County Sheriff’s Office said they received a tip from Crime Stoppers earlier this week.

Officials attempted to make an arrested during a traffic stop at night, according to Cooley. The suspects, however, avoided law enforcement by fleeing on foot through a wooded area after abandoning the vehicle.

Roberson said the two were later arrested Thursday around 10:10 a.m.

PCSO said they were also assisted by the USMS Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Breaking News!!! Kyle Hatley and Rachel Johnson are in custody. Special thanks to the USMS Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force for their assistance. #PCSO. #GCRFTF

Posted by Panola County Sheriff's Office- MS on Thursday, April 28, 2022

According to Fifteenth Circuit Court District Attorney Hal Kittrell, Hatley was previously charged with grand larceny, relating to the theft of catalytic converters. He will also be facing charges for his escape.

Kittrell said Johnson is in custody and will be facing charges related to aiding and abetting an escapee.

Cooley said both suspects are in the process of being retrieved from Panola County to face their charges in Jefferson Davis County.

No charges in Panola County have been made at this time, according to Roberson.

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