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Tennessee Inmates Escape Via Toilet

Image: Tennessee Inmates Escape Via Toilet

Clockwise from top left: John Thomas Shehee, Harce Wade Allen, David Wayne Frazier and Eric S. Click. (Cocke County Sheriff's Department)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 11:41 AM

All but one of the Tennessee inmates that escaped from a county jail by removing a leaky toilet Christmas Day have been captured.

David Wayne Frazier, 54, was the only inmate still missing after five of his alleged fellow escapees were captured after making a run for it about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, ABC News reported.

The Cocke County Sheriff's Office in Newport, Tennessee, said that a water leak behind a toilet in the county's jail annex gave the prisoners their avenue to break free, ABC News said. Newport is about 50 miles east of Knoxville.

"The bolts holding the unit rusted out and there was prior damage to the concrete due to plumbing repairs," the sheriff's office said in a statement, according to ABC News. The inmates managed to remove the toilet from the wall undetected to gain "access to a hole, which led outside of the facility."

John Thomas Shehee, 28, turned himself in Monday night after Eric S. Click, 29, and Harce Wade Allen, 28, were captured, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Authorities nabbed John Mark Speir, 38, in Cosby, Tennessee, and chased down Steven Edward Lewis, 37, on foot in Carson Springs, Tennessee, the newspaper noted.

"It's the product of them having nothing to do 24 hours a day for seven days a week except think of how to tear things up and weaknesses within that urinal system that they worked on," Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes said about the escape, according to the News Sentinel.

"We've had a lot of issues with the jail and there is a need for a better facility. We've made repairs when we find things, but it's just one of those things that you don't always know what the problems are. It's definitely an issue that we're going to need to talk about in order to have a safe facility," Fontes continued.

Authorities told WATE-TV that Frazier was in custody for aggravated robbery and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He was awaiting trial for his charges.

Fontes said the hole will be covered with a steel plate as soon as possible, WATE-TV reported.

"It's going to be difficult to fix this type of damage," Fontes told the television station. "Especially with the fact that the concrete itself is going to be an expensive fix."

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All but one of the Tennessee inmates that escaped from a county jail by removing a leaky toilet Christmas Day have been captured.
tennessee, inmates, escape, toilet
388
2016-41-27
Tuesday, 27 Dec 2016 11:41 AM
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