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An inmate from Halifax County is being sought after he was reported missing from Hoke Correctional Institute in Raeford Sunday night.


Cul Priest Jones, 44, a minimum custody inmate, was reported missing from the facility around 7:45 p.m., the state Department of Public Safety said in a news release.

The statement does not explain the circumstances of his disappearance and a department spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Hoke Correctional referred questions about Jones to the state.

Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty said the department was informed of Jones’ escape but the communication did not give any further details details. Raeford is about 157 miles from Roanoke Rapids.

The news release does mention Jones is from Halifax County and that he was serving a sentence for burglary in the first degree. He was admitted to prison on September 30, 2014, and scheduled for release in January of 2023.

The escape comes after his conviction in 2014 to a term of 7 years and 11 months for first-degree burglary, which was related to a December 2013 crime in which he was shot a by a business owner who was awakened by noise and saw Jones behind the cash register with a handgun.

At the time Jones had been released from Tillery Correctional Center on December 4, 2013, after shooting a Warren County deputy in May of 1991.

Jones had also been identified in a string of break-ins in Roanoke Rapids and was eluding apprehension in the cases when he shot the deputy.

He received a 50-year sentence but did not serve the entire term and was released from Tillery Correctional Center on December 4, 2013, 23 days after he committed the burglary in which he was shot. He served 22 years of the sentence linked to the shooting of the deputy in 1991.

Anyone with information on Jones is encouraged to call  local law enforcement or Hoke Correctional Institution at 910-944-7612.