Searcy County Sheriff's Office
Joey Pruitt, Sheriff
For Immediate Release, 7/16/2018, 1200 hours
Searcy County (Marshall, Arkansas)-The Searcy County Sheriff's Office and Arkansas State Police are currently searching for a white male, Matthew Clayton Armstrong, 31, of Marshall, AR who escaped from the Searcy County Detention Center on July 14, 2018 at approximately 9:13 PM. Armstrong was being held by law enforcement authorities on charges of Murder in the First Degree.
At approximately 9:13 PM, another inmate, Jason Christian, who was being held on charges of Failure to Appear, created a disturbance within the jail, assaulting a deputy jailer, which allowed Armstrong and another inmate, Jason Brannon, held on Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, to escape from the jail. Brannon was caught hours later by the Marshall Police Department. Armstrong remains at large and is considered dangerous.
A command post has been established and a search is currently underway in Searcy and surrounding counties. The sheriff's office is currently being assisted by multiple law enforcement agencies including the Arkansas State Police, the Benton, Boone, Stone, Pope, Marion, Newton and Van Buren County Sheriff's Departments, Arkansas Community Corrections, Department of Corrections K-9 Team, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the National Park Service.
Sheriff Pruitt said in a statement Monday, July 16, 2018, "Armstrong is still considered dangerous and may be armed. We encourage everyone in the community to remain vigilant and keep their vehicles, doors and windows locked and secure." Pruitt also stated that information and leads as to Armstrong's whereabouts continue to come into the Sheriff's Office and that every lead is being assigned and followed up on by his department and the State Police."
Pruitt continued, "Armstrong may be accompanied by a white female, Mandy Watts, 43, of Marshall" and "anyone having any information or knowledge of Armstrong's or Watt's whereabouts is asked to contact the Searcy County Sheriff's Office at 870-448-2340 or dial 911. Do not approach or attempt to apprehend him and notify law enforcement immediately."
[Media Alert: The Sheriff's Office will update this information at 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM daily when new information is available. This information will be made available through the Searcy County Sheriff's website at http://searcycountysheriff.org/ or on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Searcy-County-Sheriffs-Department-374307239636543/. Due to the nature of the ongoing operation, requests for interviews will not be considered at this time. On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, at 9:00 AM, Sheriff Pruitt will be available for on an on camera interview at the Search County Sheriff's Office in Marshall, Arkansas.]