Authorities found a Tipton Correctional Center inmate unconscious with head injuries after he escaped from a crew that was helping to clean up after the Missouri State Fair came to an end this year.
Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Karen Pojmann says 34-year-old Shannon Dewayne Watts walked away from his work site at the Missouri State Fair after completing his work-release job Sunday night.
Authorities searched the fairgrounds before expanding their search throughout the area on Monday with the help of the corrections dog team, Pojmann says. Authorities found Watts unconscious with apparent head injuries near Highway B between Sedalia and Green Ridge at 11:20 p.m on Monday.
Watts was transported by helicopter to an area hospital for treatment.
Watts is serving a 15-year sentence at Tipton Correctional Center for charges that included burglary, forgery, possession of a controlled substance and firearm, resisting arrest, tampering with a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident in Greene County. Watts was previously incarcerated from Sept. 9, 2012 to April 22, 2014.
Throughout the year, teams of minimum security work-release offenders perform maintenance and other work under close supervision at the fairgrounds with Sunday marking the final day of the 11-day Missouri State Fair. Larger teams are tapped during the regular season to help with setup, cleanup, grounds-keeping and other duties, Pojmann says.