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Hawkins inmate's quest for 'fresh air' leads to attempted escape charge

Jeff Bobo • Aug 5, 2018 at 8:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County inmate who allegedly removed an air duct cover near his cell Wednesday morning told jail officers he was “trying to get fresh air.”

Officers, however, suspected he had a different motive and charged him with attempted escape as well as vandalism under $1,000.

Around 9:36 a.m. Wednesday, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Corey Young was notified of a possible escape in progress in “C Pod” where Jerry Lynn Arrington, 51, Church Hill, was being held without bond on numerous charges including domestic assault, evading arrest, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and probation violation.

Young responded to the scene with jail officers John Biggins, Robert Rios and Gary Damron. There they found Arrington sitting on top of the door to his cell on the upper tier.

“The cover to the air duct to the left of the cell was missing, and Mr. Arrington’s hands were covered with blood,” Young stated in his report. “Officers assisted Mr. Arrington off the cell door and secured him in handcuffs. Mr. Arrington advised officers he was trying to get fresh air.”

Upon inspecting Arrington’s property bag, where he keeps his court documents, officers located the duct cover with blood on it.

Arrington was treated for his injuries by jail medical staff.

Because he was being held on misdemeanor charges, Arrington was charged with misdemeanor attempted escape. If he had been held on felony charges, the attempted escape charge would have been a felony as well.

Still, Arrington’s “fresh air” could cost him an additional 11 months and 29 days in jail if he is convicted of attempted escape, a Class A misdemeanor.

Arrington will be arraigned Monday in Sessions Court on the new charges.

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