State Inmate Arrested in Houma after Escaping from Transitional Work Program

Michael Matherne

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre reported a Department of Corrections inmate who had escaped from custody was located and arrested Saturday, July 21 in Houma. Michael Matherne (W/M, D.O.B. 03/16/75) had been sentenced to eight years in prison in December 2011 and was serving his time in Lafourche Parish. He was assigned as a “trustee” to work in the kitchen at the Transitional Work Program Facility located at 1156 Highway 90 in Raceland.

Matherne is believed to have escaped from the facility sometime after 10:00 p.m. on Friday night and before 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning. On Saturday, deputies discovered Matherne was missing, and immediately notified surrounding law enforcement agencies of his escape. A few hours later, shortly before 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, officers with the Houma Police Department located Matherne driving a stolen pickup truck in Houma. He was arrested on additional charges by Houma Police and booked into the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex where he is currently being held.

“We certainly want to thank the Houma Police Department and the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in helping track down this escapee,” said Sheriff Webre. “The circumstances which led to Matherne’s escape are under investigation, but in the meantime, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure this does not happen again.”

Detectives are also investigating Matherne’s actions following his escape. The truck he was driving before his arrest was found to have been stolen from an owner in Lafourche Parish. Detectives say Matherne is a suspect in two other vehicle burglaries in Lafourche and another attempted vehicle burglary, all of which took place during the hours after Matherne had escaped.

Matherne was a trustee assigned to the Transitional Work Program facility. There are a total of 24 trustees assigned to the facility. Trustees perform custodial work and other jobs at LPSO facilities, clean up after parades and festivals, and provide grass cutting services around bridges and public buildings. LPSO typically selects trustees as those serving time who have shown good behavior during the time they have been incarcerated. The type of crime committed is also considered.

State Inmate Arrested in Houma after Escaping from Transitional Work Program