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History repeated itself Sunday at the Tennessee Department of Correction's dairy farm north of Pikeville, Tenn., that supplies dairy products to prisons around the state.
Minimum-custody trusty Jeffery Lynn Carter, 32, who was working on the farm near the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex about 7 p.m. CDT, jumped from the tractor he was driving and ran into a nearby woods. Carter was serving a 21-year sentence for convictions in Davidson County of aggravated robbery and attempted aggravated robbery. His sentence was set to expire in 2018.
Prison officials believe Carter hid in the woods and were still searching for him there Monday morning.
The same sort of escape took place at the prison dairy farm in February 2011, when trusty Garland Lee Godsey -- convicted of second-degree murder for beating an acquaintance to death in a Cumberland County bar -- drove a tractor to the edge of a field and ran into the woods. The warden then, Jim Morrow, said it was the first escape in at least four years.
The Bledsoe County Correctional Complex, which holds 2,500 inmates and is situated on 2,200 acres, opened this year and incorporated the 971-bed Southeastern Tennessee State Regional Correctional Facility. The facilities now are joined under the new name, the older prison becoming the "annex." The facility's warden, Stanton Heidle, was appointed in May of this year.
Correction Department spokeswoman Cindy Dunning wouldn't comment or release any information Monday morning beyond a two-sentence news release that described the escape.
She didn't respond to an email asking if this is the first escape since the new facility opened.
Carter is a white man, 5 feet, 8 inches tall weighing 165 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information on Carter's whereabouts is urged to call the Tennessee Department of Correction at 615-741-7144.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.