Desoto County News

Second escaped trusty captured in Memphis

Reports Monday are that the second trusty who escaped from a work detail in Horn Lake was found and arrested in Memphis.  

Gene Dewayne Saulsberry, age 31 of Memphis, was found and arrested at a residence Monday afternoon, Feb. 5. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Team, or F.A.T., located and apprehended Saulsberry at a residence in the area of Dupre Street and Clarke Road in the Hickory Hill area of Memphis. He was taken into custody without incident and charged with escape, according to Shelby County officials.  

Gene Saulsberry
(Shelby County Jail photo)

On Jan. 23, Saulsberry and Moumen Rafat Mawlawi, age 25 of Memphis, left a work detail at a nonprofit facility in Horn Lake and escaped. They were trusties who were helping load and unload food at the time of their departure.  

Mawlawi was captured later that evening. Department fugitive units were working with counterparts in Shelby County and Mawlawi was found and captured in Shelby County. 

At the time, Tuggle said they “were close” to finding Saulsberry but Monday’s arrest completes their search.  

Another person was arrested in connection with the escape. Asya Gardner, a girlfriend of Mawlawi, was also arrested with her boyfriend and charged with aiding the escape of felons.  

Mawlawi is back in the DeSoto County Adult Detention Center in Hernando. Saulsberry is being held in Shelby County and is awaiting extradition back to DeSoto County. 

Sheriff Tuggle offered the following statement in response to Monday’s arrest: 

“To the citizens of DeSoto County, the recent capture of an escaped inmate highlights the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department’s unwavering commitment to your safety. We are waiting to extradite Gene Saulsberry to DeSoto County, where he will be held accountable for his actions. Criminals take heed – we will relentlessly pursue those who threaten our community and we will find you. Your safety is our top priority, and we will not rest until every threat is eliminated.  A sincere thank you to the DeSoto County and Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Fugitive Apprehension Teams.”

Saulsberry was originally being held in connection with a felony shoplifting charge from the Southaven Police Department. Mawlawi was serving time for auto theft and violating his probation.  

Saulsberry’s case dated back to November 2023 and Mawlawi to Dec. 28, 2023.

Photo credit: DeSoto County Jail photos

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