Update: Roan Mountain escapees captured

John Thompson • Jan 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM

A Tennessee Department of Correction spokeswoman confirmed this morning that the two escapees from the Roan Mountain work camp were captured overnight.

The escapees were taken to Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, TDOC's Dorinda Carter said in an email.

Keep visiting JohnsonCityPress.com for details.


Earlier report:

ROAN MOUNTAIN — State and local law enforcement officers were searching the Carter and surrounding counties on Thursday night for two men who escaped from the Roan Mountain work camp of the Tennessee Department of Correction’s Northeast Corrections Complex.

The men may have been involved in an incident in which a Carter County Sheriff’s Department deputy was nearly run over by a car that refused his signals to stop.

Sheriff Chris Mathes said Deputy Larry Vaughn was not hurt in the incident in which a silver car grazed his hand and arm. Vaughn did not go to an emergency room, but Mathes said a short time after the incident that he would have the officer checked by emergency medical personnel.

Mathes said his department received information that two men from the work camp escaped by going under a fence.

According to the DOC, the escapees are Robert Wayne Jennings, 38, and Troy Layne, 40.

Jennings is serving 29-year sentence for robbery and burglary convictions in Blount County. He is described as white male who is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 155 pounds.

Jennings' sentence was scheduled to end on Dec. 26. He has been incarcerated since 1994.

Layne was serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated assault and evading arrest in Sequatchie County. He is described as a white male who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 168 pounds. He was scheduled for a parole hearing in November.

One tip the officers were working on was that the men were picked up by someone driving a small silver car. Vaughn had stopped a car matching that description on U.S. Highway 19E near the Railroad Grade Road intersection.

Mathes said the car he stopped was not involved in the escape, but while Vaughn was checking the occupants, another silver car came by his location. Mathes said Vaughn had to jump to get out of the way of the speeding car.

“We don’t know if the second car is involved in the escape or not,” Mathes said. But the driver is definitely wanted because of the close call with his deputy and the fact that it did not stop and kept speeding away from the scene.

The escape is the first at the work camp since Brian D. Knighton ran away from a work gang inside the Roan Mountain State Park on Sept. 28, 2010. That escape was highlighted with the burning of a park maintenance building. Knighton was captured by a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer the next day in Cookeville. He received a 14 year addition to his sentence.

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