Escaped inmate steals Anderson Co. pastor's SUV at church

Escaped inmate steals Anderson Co. pastor's SUV at church

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Despite what happened, Pastor Houston Carroll says it's his calling to turn the other cheek. "I have to forgive him and he made a mistake." Despite what happened, Pastor Houston Carroll says it's his calling to turn the other cheek. "I have to forgive him and he made a mistake."
Pastor Carroll hopes to get his vehicle back on Tuesday. He's not sure about the extent of the damage. Pastor Carroll hopes to get his vehicle back on Tuesday. He's not sure about the extent of the damage.

By KRISTYN CADDELL
6 News Reporter 

OLIVER SPRINGS (WATE) -- An escaped state inmate is back in custody after leading officers on a chase and taking an Anderson County pastor's SUV for his getaway vehicle.

Brian Calvin Lee, 31, made a break from a work crew at Frost Bottom Missionary Baptist Church in Anderson County.

Lee got the pastor's car and was chased to South Knoxville, where he crashed.

Pastor Houston Carroll says the Tennessee Department of Correction inmates have done a great job over the past two months remodeling his church.

"I hope this in no way reflects on the corrections department because they've done nothing but good things for this church," Pastor Carroll says.

The pastor says Lee was eating lunch when he left the fellowship hall.

"He just got up and left in a jiffy early and I assumed he was going to the bathroom. Apparently, that was not where he was going," Pastor Carroll explains.

Lee had decided to take the pastor's white Kia Sportage and the pastor had no idea it was gone until the officer in charge told him.

"I was afraid he would hurt someone on the highway with my car," Pastor Carroll says.

After a brief pursuit that included a foot chase, the escaped inmate was caught in South Knoxville.

Lee can now add theft and escape charges to his rap sheet.

Despite what happened, Pastor Carroll says it's his calling to turn the other cheek. "I have to forgive him and he made a mistake."

He wants the inmates to continue to help him and says the program has been a blessing for his church.

Pastor Carroll hopes to get his vehicle back on Tuesday. He's not sure about the extent of the damage.

Lee was serving an eight year sentence at the Morgan County Correctional Complex for aggravated burglary, robbery and arson for convictions out of Knox County.

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