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Woman accused of helping man charged in jailhouse death arrested in Kingsport

Becky Campbell • Jan 16, 2019 at 9:57 AM

Investigators looking for a man who was accused in a jailhouse homicide were led right to him by keeping close tabs on his girlfriend, who was apparently taking clothing to him on Monday.

Jonathan Robert Pearson, 38, was located on Stewball Circle in Kingsport, according to a release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The TBI said Pearson was taken into custody with the assistance of the Kingsport Police Department.

Investigators believe Candise Marie Stout, 38, had helped Pearson evade authorities. Stout was charged with accessory after the fact/harboring a fugitive. She was being held in the Washington County Detention Center on $5,000 bond.

A TBI agent and Washington County sheriff’s investigator Lt. Doug Gregg first made contact with Stout on Jan. 10 when they went to arrest Pearson in connection with the death of Joseph Lockner on Dec. 17, while the two men were housed in the same cell pod at the Detention Center.

Lockner, 29, 109 Sheri St., Gray, was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a minimum security cell block by a detention officer after the officer heard a commotion in the bathroom area. Lockner was taken to Johnson City Medical Center and was on life support when he died Dec. 20. Between the time of the assault and the indictment six men — including Pearson — in Lockner’s death, Pearson had been released from jail.

Investigators said Stout told them she had not seen or heard from Pearson and didn’t know where he was, but they set up surveillance on her in hopes she would have contact with Pearson.

In several text message exchanges with investigators, Stout told them that while she didn’t know where Pearson was, and he was planning to turn himself in on Monday. That same day, investigators said they watched as Stout put bags of clothing into her vehicle at her residence and begin to drive toward Kingsport. Officers followed her to Holiday Inn Express, where they also found Pearson.

Stout had two children in the vehicle with her and they were taken into custody by the Department of Children’s Services. Stout was arraigned on the charge in General Sessions Court Tuesday and held on $5,000 bond. Her next court hearing is Jan. 23.

Pearson and the other men charged in Lockner’s death remain jailed on $100,000 bond each.

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