Cul Priest Jones

Law enforcement agencies are continuing to search for Cul Jones, who escaped from prison five months ago, after he was spotted in Halifax County last week.

Jones, 44, of Halifax, escaped from Hoke Correctional Institution in October 2018 and began a multi-state crime spree including burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

In December, Warren County Sheriff Johnny Williams said that Jones was suspected of breaking into summer and weekend homes at Lake Gaston, and closed businesses around the lake in Warren and Halifax counties in North Carolina, and Brunswick County in Virginia. Jones was also suspected in break-ins in the Roanoke Rapids area, where some of his family members reside.

Williams reported that Jones shot then-Warren County sheriff’s detective Harold Seaman in 1990. Jones was 16 at the time. News reports from the time indicate that Jones was arrested after a 19-hour search by more than 200 law enforcement officers from at least 20 agencies in eastern North Carolina.

At the time of Jones’ escape in October, he was serving a sentence for charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, burglary, breaking and entering, attempted safecracking and larceny of a firearm.

Williams reported that during Jones’ fall crime spree, a stolen Chevrolet pickup truck known to have been in Jones’ possession was recovered in Maryland.

The Brunswick County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office reported that on Thursday, Feb. 28, Jones was identified at a burglary of a business where several items including two vehicles were stolen in Halifax County. Officials located one of the vehicles, but the other, a black Mercedes, is still missing. The Mercedes is believed to have a North Carolina dealer tag with the number 145775 or 145756.

Citizens are advised to check their properties and to call 911 if anything is observed to be suspicious.

Jones is described as a black male with a light complexion. He weighs approximately 180 pounds and walks with a limp.

Williams said previously that Jones’ past history suggests that he has never harmed a member of the general public. However, the sheriff urges local residents to be cautious and not try to confront Jones if they believe they have seen him.