Georgia authorities hunt escaped inmate with Houston County ties

John Peter Leonardi
John Peter Leonardi Houston County jail

Authorities are on the lookout for a man with Houston County ties who escaped from a west Georgia prison Saturday.

John Peter Leonardi, a 51-year-old inmate at a Carroll County prison, escaped during work detail, the Georgia Department of Corrections announced in a couple of Tweets.

Leonardi had been in prison since May on charges of possessing drug-related material in Houston County sometime in January, according to the state’s Department of Corrections website. He was sentenced to two years.

Leonardi, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, was last spotted wearing an orange shirt and state uniform pants. Anyone who spots him is urged to call 911.

In January, Leonardi was arrested in Houston County after slamming head-on into a utility pole while allegedly driving a stolen vehicle.

The impact split the pole in two, leaving electrical wires across the roadway and closed a section of Lake Joy Road for more than 11 hours.

Leonardi was being chased after failing to pull over for a sheriff’s deputy. After the wreck, he and a female passenger were taken to a hospital and Leonardi was later charged with several crimes.

Laura Corley: 478-744-4334, @Lauraecor