By Rich McKay
ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia prisoner charged with killing a sheriff escaped on Tuesday while being transported between jails, according to state law enforcement officials helping try to recapture him.
Jim Edward Lowery was being moved from one jail to another in rural southeast Georgia while awaiting a murder trial in the death of Montgomery County Sheriff Ladson O’Connor, according to Macon TV station 13WMAZ.
O’Connor died in a June 16 high-speed car chase involving Lowery, a burglary suspect who allegedly fired a gun at officers during the pursuit, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Lowery escaped from a transport van around 11:30 a.m. while between jails in Laurens County and Treutlen County, two farming communities about 150 miles south of Atlanta that grow the state's sweet Vidalia onions, the television station reported.
Law enforcement officials were unable to provide details beyond confirming the escape and manhunt.
This follows the high-profile breakout of two convicted murderers from a maximum security prison in upstate New York earlier this year. They were aided by a prison employee who was recently sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
(Editing by Letitia Stein and Eric Walsh)