Two La. escapees may be pleading guilty in Mississippi murder - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Two La. escapees may be pleading guilty in Mississippi murder case

Posted: Updated:

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Two inmates who escaped from custody in Louisiana plan to plead guilty in a case that includes charges of abducting and killing an Ohio businessman in Mississippi, a court filing said.

Authorities say Darian "Drake" Pierce and Ricky Wedgeworth escaped from the Louisiana State Police compound in Baton Rouge on March 4, 2011, and kidnapped David Cupps from a hotel in Vicksburg, Miss.

Cupps' beaten and strangled body was found in Bessemer, Ala.

Pierce and Wedgeworth were caught on March 14, 2011, after crashing a truck in Memphis, Tenn. Police say they had tied up a county worker and stolen a truck in Madison County, Tenn.

The inmates are charged with kidnapping resulting in death, carjacking, conspiracy and transporting stolen vehicles. The court filing Monday in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss., did not say to which charges they would plead guilty.

The change of plea hearing is scheduled to take place in Jackson on Monday, the same day the men's trial was to begin. They had previously pleaded not guilty.

Wedgeworth's lawyer had no comment when contacted Tuesday.

Pierce's attorney did not immediately respond to a message.

Recent court filings said Pierce acknowledged participating in the crimes during conversations with a nurse and later with investigators from the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Pierce was hospitalized as a precaution after fighting with the officers who arrested him and told the nurse that he and Wedgeworth "escaped from prison and killed a man while taking his car," prosecutors said in a court filing last week.

"He said they dumped the victim's body in Alabama and that he did not mean to kill the man," the filing said.

Cupps, a 53-year-old man from Sunbury, Ohio, was attacked for his rental car, authorities say. He was in Mississippi to inspect the Grand Gulf nuclear power plant south of Vicksburg.

The inmates had been working as groundskeepers at the Louisiana State Police compound when authorities said they stole a van and drove off.

Both men were serving long prison sentences at the time. Wedgeworth was serving time for armed robbery and was set to be released in 2023. Pierce was locked up for attempted second-degree murder and was scheduled for release in 2024.

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety has said it was using about 160 inmate workers, known as trusties, for various jobs at the State Police compound when Wedgeworth and Pierce escaped.

Authorities have said Wedgeworth is from Memphis, Tenn. Pierce is from of Bogalusa, La.

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Pipe beating leads to arrest

    Pipe beating leads to arrest

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:02:44 GMT
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - A Junction City man has been booked into the Union Parish Detention Center accused of striking another man in the head with a pipe.
    UNION PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - A Junction City man has been booked into the Union Parish Detention Center accused of striking another man in the head with a pipe.
  • KNOE tailgates with a ULM Grove legend

    KNOE tailgates with a ULM Grove legend

    Thursday, August 28 2014 5:17 PM EDT2014-08-28 21:17:41 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Buddy Embanato is a familiar face in the Grove during football season.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News)- Buddy Embanato is a familiar face in the Grove during football season.
  • Local Red Cross Chapter slashed in cutbacks

    Local Red Cross Chapter slashed in cutbacks

    Thursday, August 28 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-08-28 18:22:44 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Big changes at the American Red Cross on a national level are having an effect on local staffing. As part of restructuring, the Northeast Louisiana Chapter based in Monroe is loosing its executive director and three other full time employees.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Big changes at the American Red Cross on a national level are having an effect on local staffing. As part of restructuring, the Northeast Louisiana Chapter based in Monroe is loosing its executive director and three other full time employees.
  • Teacher accused of having sex with 2 students

    Teacher accused of having sex with 2 students

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:53:04 GMT
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Riverdale Christian Academy administrators have fired English teacher Ashley Dowden following her confession to deputies that she had sex with a 16-year-old student.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Riverdale Christian Academy administrators have fired English teacher Ashley Dowden following her confession to deputies that she had sex with a 16-year-old student.
  • Stabbing on Church Street

    Stabbing on Church Street

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:14 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:14:01 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 NEWS) - Multiple stab wounds sends one to the hospital.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 NEWS) - Multiple stab wounds sends one to the hospital.
  • Gun company cuts ties with reality TV star

    Gun company cuts ties with reality TV star

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:59 PM EDT2014-08-28 17:59:12 GMT
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A firearms company affiliated with reality TV star Will Hayden is distancing itself from him after his arrest on rape charges. In a statement on its website, Red Jacket Firearms LLC says it has legally separated from Hayden.
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A firearms company affiliated with reality TV star Will Hayden is distancing itself from him after his arrest on rape charges. In a statement on its website, Red Jacket Firearms LLC says it has legally separated from Hayden.
  • Shooting on Lowery Street

    Shooting on Lowery Street

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:08:38 GMT
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 NEWS) - Shooting on Lowery Street sends one person to the hospital.
    MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 NEWS) - Shooting on Lowery Street sends one person to the hospital.
  • Fixing the roads... One pothole at a time

    Fixing the roads... One pothole at a time

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:21:38 GMT
    WINNSBORO, La (KNOE 8 NEWS) -- Eighteen roads in Franklin Parish are about to get a face lift, thanks to the Ad Valorem tax and extra state funding.
    WINNSBORO, La (KNOE 8 NEWS) -- Eighteen roads in Franklin Parish are about to get a face lift, thanks to the Ad Valorem tax and extra state funding.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.