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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Jail Time for "Prime Time"

[This article is from The Clarion-Ledger of November 8, 2005.]

Escapee's show fails to go on

Investigator surprises missing Hinds penal farm inmate on stage

By Camille C. Spencer
caspencer@jackson.gannett.com

Wearing a two-piece suit and tie as he took the stage at a nightclub in Tupelo [Miss., 175 miles northeast of Jackson] before a crowd of screaming fans, Gregory "Prime Time" Hobson was surprised by an unwelcomed visitor.

Hinds County [where Jackson is located] investigator Pam Turner, who went to The Bottom Line after hearing a tip that Hobson would be there, attempted to arrest the Hinds County Penal Farm escapee as he turned his back to the crowd and prepared to perform an exotic dance.

"He was on stage with three other guys," Turner said Monday. "I told him I had something for him. He walked off stage and struggled with us, but we got him."

Turner said Hobson had been selling tickets for the show before his 10 p.m. performance.

Tickets were sold for $10 to $20 each, and about 300 people were in the audience at the time of Hobson's arrest Friday [Nov. 4], nightclub owner Winfred Shumpert said.

He and the club's dancers didn't know Hobson was wanted, Shumpert said.

"He never told me anything about it," Shumpert said.

Hobson [who is black] had performed about three shows there before, he said.

Hobson, 36, of Brandon was one of three penal farm inmates who escaped Oct. 22. The circumstances of Hobson's escape and how he got to Tupelo are unknown.

Hobson was serving time for contempt of court for failure to pay $24,000 in child support payments and now faces additional escape charges, said Sheriff Malcolm McMillin.

"You don't expect someone charged with child support to be a flight risk," McMillin said.

Hobson has twins with wife Cynthia Skinner, investigators said.

Skinner was unavailable for comment Monday.

Hobson is being held at the Hinds County Detention Center, McMillin said. No bond has been set.

No other arrests are expected, McMillin said.

The U.S. Marshal's Office, Lee County Sheriff's Department, and Bolton, Edwards and Tupelo police departments assisted in the investigation. [Bolton and Edwards are in Hinds County.]

The other inmates have been captured, McMillin said.

James Bruce, 32, was captured last week in Colorado County, Texas.

Bruce was serving a three-year burglary sentence.

Bruce escaped with Danny Allen Ivy, 30, of Bolton, who also was serving a sentence for burglary.

Ivy was captured last week and taken into custody in Natchez [100 miles southwest of Jackson].

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