NC sheriff’s office offers $500 reward after inmate escapes from custody at hospital


Michael Laphonte Jones

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LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. — An inmate escaped from custody sparking a search and an offer for a $500 reward, according to the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 11 p.m. Wednesday, Michael Laphonte Jones escaped while he was getting treatment at UNC Lenoir Hospital in Kingston.

The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office and Kingston Police Department searched the area for Jones, using multiple K-9s and other equipment, but were unable to find him.

He was being held at the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Detention Center before trial for felony possession of a stolen firearm and felony drug charges.

The sheriff’s office says he will face additional charges for escaping from custody.

Jones is described as a 20-year-old man standing at about 6′ 3″ and weighing about 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing an orange shirt and pants at the time of his escape.

The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the man’s arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office at (252) 559-6118 or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at (252) 523-4444.

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