Chris' arrest and conviction history consists of charges for drug possession and violence - however, his institutional record has not been marred by a single instance of violence/fighting or involvement in drugs for the past 17 years of his incarceration.
**Please Note: This page is an ongoing work in progress, any new information/documentation will be added as it becomes available.
Programs Completed During Incarceration
GED Diploma with honors
In 2003, the Mississippi DOC started a GED program in Unit 32D, utilizing a proctor from Delta Community College. The success of the initial program allowed it to continue, and eventually led to a separate school being built. Chris was transferred from that facility in July 2003 and enrolled in a second program. He subsequently graduated as valedictorian, with what he was told at the time was the highest score in the state. The program documents can be seen here: GED
life improvement courses
A very small number of programs are available for inmates within the Mississippi DOC system – that number gets even smaller when your sentence is for life, or death. Despite the limitations, Chris has completed all of the programs available to him during his 17 years inside: Pre-Release/Life Dev. Skills, Alcohol & Drug Education, and SAMSHA Anger Mgmt Training. The certificates can be seen here: Program Certificates
“That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.” Benjamin Franklin, March 14, 1785
**Articles regarding both escapes can be found on the ‘In The Press’ page of this site.
In 2004, Chris received news from the appeals courts that he would not be getting a new trial. It was the fourth appeal denied. After three years of listening to appeal attoneys build his hope and having it crushed by multiple attempts in the Court of Appeals and Mississippi Supreme Court, he resigned himself to never getting free. He was 24 when he escaped the first time, full of the delusion that he could get away and begin a new life somewhere, find work and help his family get back on their feet after hurricane Katrina destroyed several of their homes and put his mother in a garage for half a year. It took two escapes to shake the reality into him, that everyone gets caught, and it was simply the wrong thing to do regardless of his non-violent nature and the method he chose to escape. MDOC and the media demonized the liberation attempts.
October 17, 2005
On October 17, 2005, Chris – then 24, along with his friend Ant, escaped from East Mississippi Correctional Facility by sawing through the bar in their cell window. Aided by a staff member, the two were apprehended 24-hours later in a hotel in Northport, Alabama.
January 31, 2006
On January 31, 2006, while being transported to a hearing for their earlier escape, Chris, and that same friend Ant, attempted a second escape from a state DOC prison van outside the courthouse in Meridian. Chris was able to remove his handcuffs and leg shackles, and run several blocks before being recaptured.