Louisiana State Police arrest Feliciana guard who met with inmate Lorenzo Conner days before his escape in New Orleans _lowres

Antonio Webb

State Police, investigating the escape this week of an inmate who broke out of a state transport van in Mid-City, have arrested a guard who worked for the Eastern Louisiana State Mental Hospital, the facility where the fugitive was being held.

The guard, Antonio Webb, 37, was booked with malfeasance in office, authorities said. Melissa Matey, a State Police spokeswoman, said that investigators learned that Webb had met with the escaped inmate, Lorenzo Conner, on Saturday. She said he “left his post and met with Conner in an area that he was not assigned to be in,” adding, in a news release, that Webb could face additional charges.

The manhunt for Conner, 24, entered its third day Thursday, and State Police said the inmate’s whereabouts still are not known. Conner faces murder charges in the 2011 killing of 25-year-old Nelson Smith. He had been found incompetent to stand trial and was being rehabilitated at the state’s mental health facility in Jackson.

Authorities have said Conner, who had been shackled, broke through the window of a transport van near Tulane Avenue and South Telemachus Street.

Two employees of the state Department of Health and Hospitals had been transporting Conner from Jackson to the Orleans Parish Criminal District Courthouse.

Crimestoppers has offered a reward of up to $3,500 for leads leading to Conner’s arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111 or State Police at (504) 471-2775