Carter inmate walks off from work detail; recaptured

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

   A Carter County Jail inmate who was working Wednesday afternoon at the National Guard Armory on Highway 91 was returned to custody around 7:30 p.m. following his escape earlier in the afternoon.
   Carter County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy James Parrish said Chris Anderson, 27, 910 Cedar Ave., was helping hand out commodities at the Armory when Deputy Matt Lunceford saw him get into a car driven by his wife, Diane Anderson of Johnson City.
   Lunceford put out a BOLO (be on the lookout) for the gray Camaro.
   "Apparently she just drives down the road a couple hundred yards and tells him to get out, she doesn't want any part of it," Chief Parrish said. "He runs over to ColorWorks where his father works and got into a vehicle driven by his father's girlfriend, Tammy Parks of Hampton. She drives him to a residence in Johnson City."
   In the meantime, Elizabethton Police Department officers pulled over the vehicle driven by Diane Anderson. She cooperated with authorities and gave them what information she had, according to Chief Parish.
   "We were fortunate that (Deputy) Michael Carlock found the car being driven by Tammy Parks coming back into ColorWorks. We questioned her and she cooperated," Parrish said.
   "We later developed information on another residence that he was at, over in Sinking Creek, and that's where we recaptured him. We were lucky on this escape. We got right on it and stayed on it and got him back," Parrish said.
   "Every year around Christmas and Thanksgiving you get this. These fellows upstairs get homesick and this is what happens."
   Anderson, who was in jail on a charge of violation of probation for child endangerment and contempt, also was charged with escape. Chief Parrish, Lt. Jamie Jenkins, Sgt. Randy Bowers, Investigator Audrey Covington, Deputy Sarah Ryan and K9 Sgt. Kabor, Deputies Lunceford and Laverne Julian assisted in the investigation and apprehension.
   According to Sheriff John Henson, while deputies were pursuing the escapee, another call came in regarding a woman on U.S. Highway 19E who was running vehicles off the roadway.
   "We had this lady that didn't know she was in the world," Henson said. "She had this kid in there with her and was going up the road running everybody off the highway. We like to never got her under control and got her stopped. We chased her all the way from Valley Forge and finally got her boxed in around Hampton High School and got her stopped."
   Sheriff Henson said it first was believed that Ms. Smith was a diabetic and possibly might have been getting ready to go into a diabetic coma. Following treatment at Sycamore Shoals Hospital, however, Smith was charged by Investigator Covington with DUI and child endangerment.