Independence County Authorities Searching for Escapee

UPDATED at 11:46 a.m. CST on 3/22/07

BATESVILLE, AR - Independence County authorities are searching for an escaped inmate from the county's jail at Batesville.

Gary Johns, 35, apparently escaped from the jail shortly before 7 p.m. last night, through the rear door of the facility.  Johns was being held in lieu of a $250,000 bond on charges of first degree battery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

One person has been arrested in connection with Johns' escape on allegations that the suspect assisted Johns following his escape.  The suspect allegedly picked up Johns at a residence in west Batesville and transported him to another residence at Sulphur Rock.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Johns is urged to contact the Independence County Sheriff's Department at 870-793-8838.

***UPDATE***

Johns is described as a white male, 5-feet-11 inches tall and weighing approximately 240 pounds.  Authorities say he also has a shaved head and brown eyes.