Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Suspect Escapes Bondsman

A Laurel bondsman is looking for a client who walked away from him after his bail was paid last week at the Lincoln County Jail.

Bondsman Donald Dale Hollifield of Donald's Bonding Company said James May, 29, of Brookhaven, asked to borrow a cellular phone after being bonded out of the Lincoln County Jail on Wednesday.

Officials said May had called someone to come and pay the bondsman. But upon finding out payment would not be made, he took the phone and ran after talking on it shortly outside the jail.

May is charged with sexual assault and burglary after entering the home of an elderly Brookhaven woman. He was out on bond on a felony charge in Jones County at the time of his arrest, and was allowed bond in Brookhaven Municipal Court.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said May's bond has been paid; therefore he is legally out of jail.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said the fact that May has not paid Hollifield is a problem, but not one that can be handled by jail or police officials until he does not appear in court at his preliminary hearing on June 30. And although his officers cannot legally apprehend May if he is found because he has bonded out, Henderson said they will be extra vigilant in protecting the community.

"I know that we will be protecting the victims and witnesses," he said. "We made them aware that he was bonding out. They're our priority."

Hollifield, however, is concerned about the possible $100,000 he may be held responsible for if May does not appear for his preliminary hearing.

"We're hunting him, and if anybody has any information to get him rounded up, we need them to call us," Hollifield said.

Hollifield can be reached at his company at (601) 649-2382.

May was arrested and charged in conjunction with a breaking and entering complaint reported May 30. When an officer was sent to the scene, the elderly victim reported that she found a man in her home who assaulted her sexually.

Officials said the woman told police she found the man standing in the living room of her home in a neighborhood off North Jackson Street. She said he made a threatening statement before putting a knife to her throat and taking her into the bedroom and assaulting her.

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