A work release inmate got more than he bargained for after walking off a job for "personal reasons."
Paul Jackson was arrested Friday by the Webster Parish Sheriff's Office and is being charged with simple escape.
Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton says a family matter is to blame.
"He got a phone call the day before about his mother," Sexton said. "He (Jackson) said she was sick and that was the reason he left. To go check on her."
Jackson had been assigned to a work detail in Springhill, where he had the opportunity to earn money by painting a mural.
"He is a painter, he paints murals on buildings and similar things," Sexton said. "Springhill Chamber had some work they wanted done, so we transferred him to Springhill on a work detail."
During his time on the work detail, Jackson made a decision to leave the location.
"He left the location of the work detail Thursday afternoon around four o'clock when his ex-wife and a relative picked him up," Sexton said. "We were notified that he did not return back from the work detail so we got on top of it and we picked him up Friday afternoon. He was on the ground for about 24 hours."
Sexton said Jackson did not notify anyone of his desire to leave.
"If he had called me and told me that his mother had some health issues, I would have arranged for a meeting with him and her, or had a transport arrange for him to see his mother," Sexton said. "I'm sympathetic to that situation. I'm not always a hard liner.
"If my mother was sick and I was incarcerated, I would certainly want to see about her," he continued. "But he up and left, and it is probably going to cost him an extra year in jail, his good time, plus he will be taken back to south Louisiana. He really made things difficult for himself."
Sexton said Jackson's original charges were narcotics related, but he had been classified as Trustee Status, despite Jackson's history of jail time.
"He had done work at the prison and in our shop, doing work maintenance and painting and things like that. There was no indication that he would violate the status he had been given and escape," Sexton said. "I took a chance on him, and put him on the work detail in Springhill and he violated our trust so now he is back in our facility and will be shipped away from here."