Jail escapee shot

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   An inmate from the Carter County Jail who failed to return to a work release program was shot on Jan. 23 in Johnson County by a juvenile male.
   Kevin Jason Ferguson, 28, of Butler, suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen and was transported to the Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of his injury. On. Jan. 24, he was listed as being in critical condition at the Johnson City Medical Center. According to a dispatcher with the Carter County Sheriff's Department, he may have been transferred to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. No information on his condition is available.
   According to Sgt. Jody Putnam of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department, Ferguson was allegedly involved in a domestic violence altercation with the mother of the 16-year-old male who shot him. The identity of the juvenile has not been released due to his age.
   Charges in the incident are "pending the closure of the investigation," Putnam said.
   Putnam said that further details on the incident were being withheld due to the fact that the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
   Ferguson had been approved for work release from the Carter County Jail by the work release committee, according to Carter County Sheriff John Henson. "The first day he went out to work, he never came back," Henson said. "We wrote escape warrants on him so we are going to pick him up."
   The hospital was asked by the Sheriff's Department to put a hold on Ferguson and to notify the department before he was released, Henson said. "Once he gets out of the hospital, he will get picked up."
   Since he failed to return from his work release program, Ferguson will face a new charge of escape which will be added to the sentence he is already serving. Because of the new charge, Henson said, Ferguson will no longer be eligible for the work release program.
   "He's looking at whatever time he's got left, he'll probably be pulling it," he said.
   The escape charge will most likely not be a felony, according to Henson. "On a work release, it's more like a walk off instead of an actual break out, so it will probably be a misdemeanor," he said.