Editor's note: This article has been updated with information from the Pettis County Sheriff's Office.
A Tipton Correctional Center inmate who walked away from his work site at the Missouri State Fair has been found.
According to a Pettis County Sheriff’s Office news release, around 11 p.m. Monday deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers responded to the 3300 block of state Route B, just outside of Sedalia, for a 911 report of a male with unknown injuries. The subject was later identified as 34-year-old inmate Shannon Dewayne Watts.
Upon arrival, deputies and troopers found Watts with two other subjects who were detained and later released. Watts was taken to University Hospital in Columbia for his injuries; a Missouri Department of Corrections news release states Watts had head injuries. The sheriff’s office release states it is unknown how Watts was injured and the incident is under investigation by the sheriff’s office.
Watts is in DOC custody while at University Hospital.
According to a DOC news release issued Monday morning, Watts, a minimum-security inmate, walked away from a Missouri State Fair work site on the fairgrounds while on work release around 12:45 a.m. Monday.
The release states the Corrections Emergency Response Team was activated and assisted local law enforcement and the Missouri State Highway Patrol in a search of the fairgrounds, concluding at 6:15 a.m. Monday. Watts was not found on the fairgrounds. Local law enforcement and the MSHP continued to work with the Department of Corrections and, with the aid of the DOC dog team, expanded the search throughout the area.
Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond and Sedalia Police Chief Matt Wirt both told the Democrat their departments assisted with the search, but it was primarily orchestrated by DOC.
According to the release, TCC has teams of minimum-security work-release offenders who perform maintenance and other work under supervision at the fairgrounds year-round. Larger teams work during the 11-day fair to help with setup, cleanup, grounds-keeping and other duties.
Watts is serving a sentence for second-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of forgery, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of resisting arrest, two counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, possession of a firearm, and leaving the scene of an accident in Greene County, as well as two counts of resisting arrest in Tane County. He was received by the Missouri DOC July 29, 2015. He previously was incarcerated from Sept. 9, 2012, to April 22, 2014.