Hawkins jail inmate nabbed after 10 days on the run

Jeff Bobo • Mar 26, 2018 at 5:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Ten days of "freedom" could end up costing an additional year in jail for runaway Hawkins County Jail inmate Morgan Tyler Bryan, who was arrested Sunday evening at a residence in far western Hawkins County.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday, HCSO deputies located 26-year-old Bryan at 130 Morrisett Chapel Road in the Whitesburg community.

On the afternoon of March 15, Bryan walked away from a work crew at the Hawkins County Recycling/Convenience Center located just west of Rogersville at the intersection of Highway 11-W and Choptack Road in the Lakeview community.

Bryan is a nonviolent inmate with misdemeanor convictions for public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and probation violation. Sentenced in January, he was serving 11 months and 29 days at 75 percent.

Sheriff Ronnie Lawson told the Times-News Monday that Bryan hadn't given a statement as to why he fled his work detail.

But family members who were contacted by the HCSO after the escape indicated that Bryan admitted he'd "made a big mistake" by walking away from jail, Lawson said.

As a misdemeanor inmate, Bryan is charged with misdemeanor escape, which carries a maximum sentence of 11 months and 29 days in jail. It would likely be served consecutively to his current sentence, and he won't be eligible to work and earn time off his sentence.

The HCSO caught up with Bryan after checking out locations where his friends and family live.

The home where he was arrested was also occupied by Rebekah Leigh Ethridge, 26, of Greeneville, who was allegedly found in possession of a syringe loaded with meth, a syringe loaded with Suboxone, several empty syringes and mini-baggies, and an elastic tourniquet.

She was charged with two counts of drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia and was released on $1,,000 bond.

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