Alabama inmate convicted of murdering 15-year-old in 2007 captured after escape

Published 3:35 pm Monday, May 16, 2022

A man convicted of murder in west Alabama more than a decade ago was captured Monday a day after escaping from a minimum-security corrections center near Mobile, prison officials said.

Jeffery Strugg, 31, was discovered missing from community-based facility in Prichard on Sunday, according to a notice from the Alabama Department of Corrections. The agency didn’t release any information about how Strugg got out.

According to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson and Alabama Department of Corrections, Strugg escaped at 5:25 p.m. Sunday from Mobile Community Based Facility.

Strugg pleaded guilty in 2009 to the shooting death of 15-year-old Dewone Smiley, then a freshman at Selma High School on December 22, 2007. Strugg was sentenced to 29 years in prison but assigned to work release.

Strugg was accused of entering an apartment and shooting Smiley to death in front of two witnesses.

“He clearly should not have been at a low-risk facility with as much time as he still had to do,’’ Jackson said. “This gunslinger should have still been in a regular prison with other murderers. Murderers should be in a regular prison. Somebody at the Department of Corrections dropped the ball.”

He surrendered without any violence in Mobile County, corrections officials said.

Strugg is eligible for parole consideration on Dec. 1, prison records show.