Four Inmates on the Run; Feds Join Hunt

Michael Curtis Long
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Morristown, Hamblen County (WVLT) - Four men are still on the run after seven inmates escaped from the Hamblen County Jail Tuesday night.

Three of them are back in custody. Joshua Adkins turned himself in Wednesday afternoon.

Paul Long was caught Wednesday morning.

Michael Curtis Long was found at an address in Morristown around 7:15 p.m. sitting with a group of people around a bonfire.

The other four inmates: Michael Jesse Banner, Nathan Wayne Carrol, Brandon Scott Collins and Nicholas Kyle Short are also being hunted down.

Volunteer TV’s Stephen McLamb went to Hamblen County to find out how the search was going, and how it happened to begin with.

This is not the first time inmates have escaped from this jail. One of the escapees Michael Jesse Banner was charged in an escape just two months ago Wednesday. And sheriff's officials are concerned it could happen again.

Sheriff's officials say all seven broke out of the Jail Annex around 8:30 Tuesday night, when they asked the guard for more ice.

"When he did, they just jerked him through the door, and beat him to the floor with their fists and feet,” says Hamblen County Chief Deputy Wayne Mize.

Chief Mize says they used a side door to exit, but it's not clear if they had any help. "We don't know if someone was already here with a car or if they left on foot."

Wednesday morning Paul Long was in custody and early that afternoon, Joshua Adkins had been captured.

"Josh Adkins saw him coming down the street and he simply stepped out, waived the sheriff down, and said he was ready to go back to jail,” says Mize.

But authorities are searching for five others.

Those close to Brandon Collins hope he will turn himself in.

"Turn himself in. He needs to do the right thing. He don't have nowhere to go. I mean, this is just adding more time. He just had until February,” says Jessica Jones, Collins’ sister-in-law.

Collins girlfriend says he called her shortly after 1:00 a.m. "Just that he loved me, and that he wasn't coming back to Morristown. That he was leaving out of state, he didn't say where. Just call and let me know that you're alright,” says Heather Keasling.

Sheriff's officials say the problem is the jail is overcrowded, at nearly twice the number of inmates it should handle.

And the building is escape prone.

"There's nothing we can do, except try to be as cautious and alert as we can, cause of what we have to deal with. It's going to happen again,” Mize says.

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