Inmates plead guilty in Miss. to 2011 crime spree

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two inmates have pleaded guilty to kidnapping in connection with a crime spree through four states that began with an escape from a Louisiana jail and included the death of an Ohio man they took captive.

Darian Pierce and Ricky Wedgeworth entered the pleas Monday in federal court in Jackson. U.S. District Judge David Bramlette set sentencing for May 30. Prosecutors recommended each man be sentenced to the maximum of life in prison.

According to federal prosecutors, Pierce and Wedgeworth escaped from the Louisiana State Police compound in Baton Rouge on March 4, 2011, and kidnapped Ohio businessman David Cupps from a hotel in Vicksburg, Miss., a few days later.

Cupps' beaten and strangled body was found in Bessemer, Ala.

Pierce and Wedgeworth were caught in Tennessee after 10 days on the run.

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