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Fleeing MS Suspect Pocket Dials 911, Leading to Capture

October 10, 2017  | 

An accidental call to 911 helped Rankin County deputies track down two suspects over the weekend, reports the Clarion-Ledger.

Justin Lawrence (Photo: Rankin County Sheriff's Department)
Justin Lawrence (Photo: Rankin County Sheriff's Department)

On Saturday around 2 p.m., the Rankin County (MS) Sheriff's Department received a call from a home on Midway Road accusing Justin Lawrence of threatening the homeowner and other family members, WLBT reported. The caller alleged that Lawrence was brandishing a handgun and refused to allow anyone to leave the home. He was apparently there to have a confrontation with the mother of his child.

Before deputies arrived, Lawrence left the scene but drove by while deputies were there taking a report. Lawrence fled from deputies in a blue pickup and drove into some woods where deputies were unable to chase him. Rankin deputies then found Lawrence's truck, but he was no longer there.

Dispatch then told deputies they had an open 911 call from Lawrence's mobile phone. He had apparently inadvertently dialed 911 while running through the woods. Dispatch was able to relay the GPS coordinates to deputies on the ground as well as Metro One.

This information helped a deputy from nearby Scott County spot a black truck picking up a white male coming from the woods, and after this was reported the truck was spotted via helicopter.

Steve Newsom (Photo: Rankin County Sheriff's Department)
Steve Newsom (Photo: Rankin County Sheriff's Department)

Scott County and Rankin County deputies made a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Steve Newsom. Newsom and Lawrence were taken into custody and transported to the Rankin County Jail.

Lawrence is being held on felony evasion along with other misdemeanor charges arising from the incident on Midway Road. Newsom is being charged with felony obstruction of justice.

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