Inmate, family members arrested after leaving work site - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Inmate, family members arrested after leaving work site

Kelby Epperson (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink) Kelby Epperson (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink)
Eddie Smart (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink) Eddie Smart (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink)
Tee Jay Smart (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink) Tee Jay Smart (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink)
Heather Rudd (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink) Heather Rudd (Source: Independence County Jail via Vinelink)
INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -

An Independence County inmate was re-arrested earlier this week after walking away from a work site.

This time, a few of his family members joined him behind bars.

Kelby Epperson, 21, walked away from the Independence County Recycling Center on Jan. 17.

He was wearing a camouflage jacket and orange pants when witnesses said he walked out of a Bay door and left.

On Sat., Jan. 21, Sheriff Shawn Stephens got a tip that one of Epperson’s family members was attempting to buy him a phone at an AT&T store.

Deputies went back to that store to watch for them to come back and pick up the phone.

They followed a van driven by who the sheriff recognized as Eddie Smart, who he spoke with the day Epperson escaped.

Once they arrived at a house on Britney Street in Magness, deputies took Eddie Smart into custody.

Deputies got permission to search the home and found Epperson hiding under a blanket in a bedroom.

They also found a woman, Heather Rudd, hiding under a bed in another room.

Rudd struggled with deputies before being placed in handcuffs.

Once she was cuffed, Rudd “went stiff and wouldn’t move her legs so I had to assist her to the door,” Deputy Shay Moore wrote in the police report.

The report states that once they got to the door heather began trying to kick the deputy and lost her balance. She then fell into the metal screen door and down the stairs.

Tee Jay Smart, Eddie Smart, and Rudd were all taken to the Independence County Jail and charged with obstructing governmental operations.

Rudd was also charged with resisting arrest. 

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