One of four inmates from Hawkins Jailbreak still at large

Jeff Bobo • May 23, 2018 at 2:31 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Three of the four Hawkins County Jail inmates who escaped Wednesday afternoon were back in jail Wednesday night, and the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the pubic to locate the fourth fugitive.

As of late Wednesday, Aaron Lee Morelock, 34, 414 Grassy Creek Road, Rogersville, was the last of the four escapees who remained at large.

At about 6:30 p.m., it was announced that Jonathan Blake Skeens, 28, 119 Mitchell Loop, Rogersville, had been taken into custody in the area of Bret Price Road in the Mooresburg community in far western Hawkins County.

Earlier in the day, Hawkins County Central Dispatch had issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) for a gold Mercury Sable with an unidentified male driver who had reportedly picked up Skeens in the Western Heights neighborhood just west of Rogersville.

The escapes were discovered by jail officers at about 2 p.m.

Shortly before 2 p.m., an HCSO Court Security Officer doing a security check outside the Justice Center noticed jail-issued shoes on the hillside beside the exercise yard.

The officer then noticed wire on the fence had been pulled back, and corrections staff was notified.

It was determined that the four inmates had escaped through the fence during recreation time.

Escapees Brian David Hall, 34, 124 Austin Mill Road, Rogersville, and Timothy Edward Griffin, 35, 665 Gilbreath Road, Mosheim, were captured in Rogersville a short time later.

How were the first two caught?

The HCSO then released the escape information, and a short time later the Rogersville Police Department received a tip that an inmate was seen in the area of Douglas Drive.

That's where the RPD located and arrested Griffin.

At about that same time, a citizen called 911 and reported seeing a suspicious male in their back yard in the Campbell Drive area. Deputies responded and were able to take Hall into custody.

Hall and Griffin were transported back to the jail, where they were charged with felony escape since both were being housed on felony charges.

Skeens was charged with misdemeanor escape due to being held on misdemeanor charges.

Police said Morelock will be charged with felony escape due to being held on felony charges.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Morelock is asked to call Hawkins County Central Dispatch at (423) 272-7121.

Who are these escapees?

All four inmates were being held on nonviolent charges.

Aaron Morelock was being held on multiple charges, including felony theft, gun possession, meth trafficking and four probation violations. 

Brian Hall was arrested in February on meth trafficking and felony gun charges as a result of a search that occurred while an FTA (failure to appear) warrant was being executed related to a previous charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

Timothy Griffin was arrested last week on felony evading and theft charges after leading police on a high-speed chase on a stolen motorcycle and then abandoning the bike and fleeing on foot into a wooded area near a Surgoinsville daycare center.

Jonathan Skeens was sentenced last year to 400 days in jail on misdemeanor assault charges after he threatened to decapitate an elderly man with a machete. After he was arrested, he attacked a jail officer.


The stories behind the escapees. Click each link to find out why they’re in jail:

Brian David Hall: Hawkins deputies seize meth, handgun while serving FTA warrant

Timothy Edward Griffin: Man on stolen motorcycle leads CHPD on high speed chase

Aaron Lee Morelock: Walmart theft suspect drops loaded gun, trips during handcuffed escape attempt

Jonathan Blake Skeens: Decapitation threat, jailer attack earn Hawkins man more than 400 days in jail

The Times-News will update this report as more information becomes available.