PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The Portsmouth Sheriff's Office said an inmate who escaped the city jail Thursday night is back in custody.
Dovon Khyri Jones, 36, escaped while being escorted to a portion of the jail where he could make a phone call, according to Lt. Col. Byron Wilson with the sheriff's office.
"What we found out is that he was able to separate himself from individuals that were supposedly watching him, and he was able to leave the facility," Wilson said, adding that how Jones was able to leave remains under investigation.
Jones was located and taken into custody at a Portsmouth-area Walmart just after noon on Saturday.
"Relying on a Crime Line tip and extensive surveillance, a dangerous person has now been taken back in to custody and has just recently arrived back at the Portsmouth City Jail. The investigation as to the escape is on-going," the Portsmouth Sheriff's Office said in a statement. "Portsmouth Sheriff Michael A. Moore wants to thank the Portsmouth deputies and other partner law enforcement agencies for their support in this successful apprehension of the escaped inmate."
Court records say Jones was being held on various charges, including strangulation and abduction.
According to court documents, a woman who has a child with Jones filed a complaint saying in October 2021, he assaulted her with a machete that was in its case.
Court paperwork says Jones then started choking the woman as their child was sleeping. The victim said she was left with two black eyes and several bruises.
Jones’ troubling past left some in the community concerned for their safety.
“It’s really concerning,” said Will Leverson of Portsmouth. “This is not someone who was out on probation or parole. They’ve escaped so we’ve lost attention to something.”
Beverly Franklin, who’s lived in Portsmouth for 15 years, said she was scared to go outside her home.
“I usually go downstairs to mailbox to pick up my mail. I was too afraid to go downstairs, so I stayed upstairs until this morning,” Franklin said. “I hope they catch him. I really do.”
The sheriff's office says an internal review of this incident is ongoing.