Prisoner transported from Wicomico Co. escapes custody at Jessup psychiatric hospital

JESSUP, Md. - Police in Howard County are searching for an escaped Delaware prisoner who was being transported by Wicomico County Detention Center employees to the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup Friday morning.

According to Howard County Police, 28-year-old David M. Watson escaped from custody in the area of the hospital in the 8400 block of Dorsey Run Road and ran into a wooded area.

Watson reportedly freed himself out of his handcuffs and waist chain, both of which were found near the van that he was being transported in, police said.

Watson is described as a white male standing approximately 5 foot 8 inches in height and weighing around 140 pounds, officials said. Howard County Police, Anne Arundel Police and Maryland State Police are searching the area with K9 units and assistance from a police helicopter. At his last sighting, Watson was wearing all white.

At a press conference Friday afternoon, Howard County Police say officers have found several items of clothing in the woods. It is not clear what Watson is wearing at this time, officials said.

In 2013, Watson was convicted in Delaware on charges stemming from shooting at a police officer's home. He was sentenced to 106 years in prison. Watson and Orrin Jourdey, of Delmar, reportedly also shot at the houses of three police officers in Wicomico County that month.

Jourdey was convicted in both states, while online court records show that Watson was found incompetent to stand trial in Maryland.

Officials said that Watson was being transported to the Perkins Hospital for a court-ordered evaluation related to his charges in Maryland. Police do not yet know whether Watson's escape was premeditated or simply an impulsive action.

This story will be updated with more information as it develops.

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