Capital murder suspect flees Franklin Co. Sheriff’s Office

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

An area manhunt was launched Friday morning after a capital murder suspect fled Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. 

Franklin County Sheriff’s Officers alerted other area  law enforcement agencies that Mark Aaron Rains had escaped Friday morning from the jail at Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, where he was being held for the capital murder of Mount Vernon Bed and Breakfast owner Robert Whiteside in November.

Sulphur Springs Texas Department of Public Safety and Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office both sent all available officers to Franklin County to assist in the search upon learning of the jail escape around 9:45 a.m. Friday.

Franklin County officials advised that Rains was last seen on County Road 3040 in Franklin County at an old, abandoned trailer house where he used to live. Officials were still scouring the area at noon Friday looking for Rains.

The 21-year-old capital murder suspect is described as a white man with blue eyes and blonde hair, last seen wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans. He is six feet one inch tall and estimated to weigh about 165 pounds.

Anyone with information about Rains whereabouts is encouraged to contact local authorities immediately.

Rains, of Mount Vernon, and Juan Chavez of Dallas were both jailed in early November on capital murder charges in connection with the shooting death of Whiteside. Rains and Narada Newman of Dallas were also charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Rains and Newman were arrested the week of the shooting in Dallas, where authorities found them in possession of the stolen truck as well as Whiteside’s personal items.

Search warrants were issued for the suspects’ apartments, where some other items were found, supporting information authorities had received indicating Whiteside’s death was the result of a botched burglary and robbery of the victim’s home, District Attorney Martin Braddy said at the time.

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