Inmate Accused of Killing Wife with Poisoned Kool-Aid Escapes During 4th of July Fireworks


  • Shannon County Jail
  • Jason McClurg.

Ten inmates at a Missouri jail got a special treat when a guard took them outside to see a patriotic fireworks display on July 4. But the real fireworks started back inside when authorities realized one of the inmates had escaped.

Jason McClurg, 32, broke free from Shannon County jail in Eminence, 120 miles southeast of St. Louis, when a deputy led the inmates outside for the show. Shannon County Sheriff Steven Blunkall tells TV station KY3 that it's not yet clear whether McClurg was in restraints or whether he had help during his escape.

Update: McClurg is back in custody, reports KY3. Officials found him in a camper trailer Sunday evening and arrested him without incident. End of update.

See also: Nunchuck-Wielding Inmate Fends Off a Dozen Corrections Officers, Escapes Jail

McClug has been in jail since May, when he was arrested and charged with killing his wife, Stephanie McClug, 32, in their Winona home.

McClug secretly combined a deadly dose of prescription medicine with Kool-Aid and convinced his wife to drink it from a water bottle on a trip to Springfield by saying their toddler daughter had made it for her. Detectives believe he used high blood pressure medicine, motion sickness medicine or a combination of drugs in his lethal cocktail.

McClug apparently had to try his Jonestown-inspired killing method twice after a first attempt didn't work, reports KY3.

McClug is due in court August 7 for a preliminary hearing on his first-degree murder charge.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

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