Four inmates escape, go on beer run
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 Posted: 8:22 AM EDT (1222 GMT)
ROGERSVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- The party's over for four inmates accused of going on a beer run after the jail's doors were accidentally left unlocked.
The men were charged Monday with escape and bringing alcohol into a jail.
The breakout occurred Thursday night after cellblock doors at the Hawkins County Jail were left unlocked and a faulty control panel failed to alert jailers, Sheriff Warren Rimer said.
Two of the inmates walked out through a fire exit, leaving the door propped open with a Bible, and made a hole in the exercise yard fence. They walked to a market, bought some beer and returned to the jail to share it with other prisoners. When the booze ran out, the other two inmates made another beer run to a different store.
Authorities believe the inmates bought more than two cases of beer in all.
"I guess they thought if they came back they wouldn't be charged with escape," Rimer said, "but they were wrong."
The store visits did not raise alarm because the inmates were wearing street clothes borrowed from other prisoners. The crowded jail does not have enough orange jumpsuits to go around.