In the morning of February 22, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies notified the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force of a single vehicle accident on Highway 436. The driver of the vehicle had been identified as Valerie Sumrall, 38, a resident of Jenkins Road north of Franklinton. Sumrall had three outstanding warrants for her arrest and had fled the scene of the accident.
Patrol deputies and Drug Task Force Detectives notified the Rayburn Correctional Center canine team which also responded to the scene. During the search of the area, a motorist stopped and informed the officers that a woman was walking along Highway 436 about a mile from the scene. Officers responded to that location and arrested Valerie Sumrall, the driver of the vehicle.
Learning that a second person had been in Sumrall’s vehicle, the RCC canine team prepared to search nearby woods. When the canines were unloaded from the truck, a man stood up in the woods and surrendered. When the man was taken into custody, a quantity of Xanax pills was discovered in the pocket of his trousers. The man, identified as Lonzell Sims, 17, a resident of Harvey Road north of Franklinton, was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail along with Sumrall.
Sims is booked into the jail on one charge of possession of Schedule IV drugs. No bond has been set at this time. Sumrall is booked on seven charges: careless operation of a vehicle, driving under suspension, no insurance, resisting arrest by flight, switched license plate and two counts of failure to honor written promises. No bond has been set at this time.
This is Sims’ first stay in the Washington Parish Jail. Sumrall, however, is no stranger to the jail, having at least six previous arrests. In June 2008, she was arrested for failure to appear and released the same day after posting a $1,000 bond. In February 2010, she was arrested for contempt of court involving three counts of failure to appear. She was released the same day after posting a $277 bond. In March 2011, she was brought to the jail from court and released the following day. In August 2011, she was arrested for theft and released the following day after posting a $10,000 bond. In February 2012, she was arrested for criminal damage to property and released the same day after posting a $2,500 bond. In October 2016, she was arrested for possession of marijuana and two counts of failure to appear. She was released the following day after posting a $3,100 bond.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented. “Sumrall is one of those folks referred to by our jail staff as a frequent flyer. That is an unfortunate commentary on the lifestyle she has chosen and the poor decisions she makes. Obviously she is not serving as a good role model for Sims who doesn’t seem to be starting his adult life in a good manner. I can only hope this is a wake-up call for him and that someone can intervene in his life and get him on the right path. Congratulations to our patrol deputies and our Drug Task Force detectives for their actions in this matter. Thanks also to the fine officers from Rayburn Correctional Center who are always willing to assist us.”