WARTBURG (WATE) - Officials dedicated a memorial marker Wednesday morning honoring a Morgan County correctional officer killed in the line of duty.
The memorial for Wayne "Cotton" Morgan is outside the Morgan County Correctional Complex.
Morgan was shot seven years ago while escorting an inmate from the Roane County Courthouse. The inmate's wife, Jennifer Hyatte, killed Morgan during an escape plot and was sentenced to life in prison.
"Cotton was an inspiration to everyone who knew him," said Gary Murray, a friend and co-worker of Morgan. "He was a person that would inspire people to do a good job, and tell him about his Christianity, and his walk in life. I didn't know anyone who didn't know him who didn't love him."
Morgan's wife was presented with a special plaque in her husband's honor, and Murray sang his favorite hymn, "Amazing Grace."
The memorial reads: "In honor and memory of the service and sacrifice of Wayne Cotton Morgan." It was engraved on a stone from the Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex where Morgan worked before it closed in 2009.
"I think it's important that we have this memorial here for the new employees coming in the new correction offices, so they can see what his life was about and who he was, and hopefully learn from his legacy," said Freddie Seavers, a counselor at the complex who knew Morgan.
Employees at the complex collected funds to purchase the memorial. Morgan was a 28-year employee of the Department of Correction and two years away from retirement when he was killed.
"He was a great man," said Murray. "He was my hero."