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Alleged killer recaptured after escape from Blountville jail

Rain Smith • Aug 15, 2018 at 7:52 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — A Kingsport murder suspect who escaped from the Sullivan County jail by using another inmate’s identity was recaptured early Wednesday morning, according to police.

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kristen Bostic reports that Corey Moore, 28, was mistakenly released late Tuesday night. He had allegedly acquired the personal information of a cellmate, identified as Charles Ellis, 41, also of Kingsport.

Ellis was scheduled to be released on a child support warrant on his own recognizance. Instead, Moore allegedly used his information to be freed by jail staff.

Moore reportedly walked to a nearby BP station on Highway 394, then stole the car of a customer who was in the store. Moore drove the vehicle a short distance to Highway 11-W, then ditched the vehicle and ran.

At 3 a.m., police located Moore near a mobile home park in the 4800 block of Highway 11-W as he was attempting to hide in a ditch. He was arrested and charged with theft of a vehicle and escape.

Bostic said an investigation into how Moore obtained Ellis’ information is continuing, as is an internal look at jail procedures when releasing prisoners.

“The Sheriff’s Office made a mistake, booked the wrong person out,” Bostic said. “There will be a hard look at our protocols and exactly what we do when we release an inmate.”

Ellis is not suspected of intentionally aiding Moore. He reportedly woke up Tuesday night and asked jailers why he had not been released as scheduled.

A citizen who realized that Moore was supposed to be in jail also contacted police after spotting him in Blountville.

Moore has been in custody since April. That’s when he was charged with the first-degree murder of Timothy L. Gilliam, 56, of 524 Stapleton Drive.

According to an affidavit filed in Kingsport General Sessions Court, an acquaintance visited Gilliam’s home and found him slumped over in front of a couch. Upon discovering that Gilliam was deceased, he dialed 911.

Responding detectives with the Kingsport Police Department determined that Gilliam had recently suffered multiple, close-range gunshot wounds. According to court records, they learned a white Ford Mustang had fled the home just prior to the arrival of Gilliam’s acquaintance. And on a coffee table in front of the victim’s body, they found a receipt from a nearby supermarket.

Surveillance footage was soon pulled from the business. It reportedly revealed Gilliam had been at the store in the same Mustang, while also showing the driver to be Moore.

A warrant was obtained for Moore’s arrest, and he was apprehended a few days later. He is currently held without bond on the murder charge and is scheduled to appear in court next month. 

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Previous story:

BLOUNTVILLE — A Kingsport murder suspect who escaped the Sullivan County jail by using another inmate’s identity was recaptured early Wednesday morning, according to police.

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kristen Bostic reports that Corey Moore, 28, was mistakenly released late Tuesday night. He had allegedly acquired personal information for a cell mate, identified as Charles Ellis, 41, also of Kingsport. Ellis was to be released on a child support warrant with his own reconnaissance, but instead Moore used his information to be let free by the jail staff.

Moore reportedly walked to a nearby BP station on Highway 394, then stole the car of a customer who was in the store. Moore drove the vehicle a short distance to Highway 11-W, then ditched the car and ran.

At 3 a.m., Sullivan County deputies and officers with the Kingsport Police Department located Moore at 4805 Highway 11-W, hiding in a ditch.

He was arrested and charged with theft of a stolen vehicle and escape. Addiontal information on the incident is expected to be released later in the day by the Sheriff’s Office.

Moore was previously charges with first-degree murder in the April death of Timothy L. Gilliam, 56, of 524 Stapleton Drive.

According to an affidavit filed in Kingsport General Sessions Court, an acquaintance visited Gilliam's home to find him slumped over in front of a couch. Upon discovering that Gilliam was dead, he dialed 911.

Responding detectives with the Kingsport Police Department determined that Gilliam had recently suffered multiple, close-range gunshot wounds. According to court records, they learned a white Ford Mustang had fled the home just prior to Gilliam's acquaintance arriving. And on a coffee table in front of Gilliam's body, they found a sales receipt from a city grocery store.

Surveillance footage was soon pulled from the business. It reportedly revealed Gilliam had been at the store in the same Mustang, while also showing the driver to be Moore.

A warrant was obtained for Moore's arrest and he was arrested a few days later.

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