A convicted murderer has escaped from a county jail in Illinois in the early hours of 1 April, police have announced. The escape has sparked a manhunt for the 23-year-old man by area police and US Marshals.

Kamron Taylor overpowered an officer at Jerome Combs Detention Center around 3am, taking off with the officer's keys and uniform, the Kankakee County Sheriff's Office said. Police said Taylor then fled the jail and took the correction officer's vehicle, which was identified as a 2012 brown Chevrolet Equinox with Illinois registration P506660.

The fugitive was described by the sheriff's office as being 5ft 9in and 171lb. He is wanted for escape as well as aggravated battery to a correctional officer.

According to the Daily Journal, Taylor was convicted of the June 2013 murder of Nelson Williams Jr during a failed robbery on 27 February. During his conviction, Taylor attempted to escape from Circuit Court Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott's courtroom while the verdicts were being read.

He was quickly rushed out of the courtroom, but not before he turned towards the gallery and yelled some expletives, the Journal reported. Taylor was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of armed robbery, residential burglary and escaping police.

The Daily Journal also reported that Taylor was on parole in Tennessee for an aggravated burglary conviction during the time of the murder, and could face 45 years to life in prison.

Taylor is believed to have the correction officer's service weapon and is considered armed and dangerous. The Kankakee County Sherif's Office announced they would be holding a press conference at 11:05am for more details.