Two missing Grainger County inmates captured in Pigeon Forge

Two missing Grainger County inmates captured in Pigeon Forge; jail changes coming

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Dennis Rucker (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Department) Dennis Rucker (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Department)
Shane Farrow (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Department) Shane Farrow (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Department)
Daniel Farrow (source: Grainger County Sheriff's Department) Daniel Farrow (source: Grainger County Sheriff's Department)

RUTLEDGE (WATE) – Two inmates who escaped Friday from the Grainger County jail were captured Wednesday night.

Dennis Rucker, 35, and Shane Farrow, 30 were captured in Pigeon Forge around 9 p.m. Wednesday by the Grainger County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals' Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force.

Marshals say the pair was arrested at the Royal Inn, 2626 Parkway, inside room 308. No weapons were recovered and the two were arrested without incident.

Farrow's brother Daniel Farrow was also arrested for facilitating an escape and accessory after the fact.

"They were in his vehicle most of the time going from different locations. He's also the one who booked the room," said Chief Deputy Charles Biddle at a news conference Thursday.

Dennis Rucker and Shane Farrow will be taken to jail in Jefferson County. Daniel Farrow was booked into the Grainger County Jail.

David Valentine is still missing.

The three are charged with escaping from the Grainger County Jail on Friday, November 8. It is believed they escaped by climbing over the jail's recreation yard wall.

Anyone with information on Valentine's whereabouts is asked to call the Grainger County Sheriff's Department at (865) 828-3613 or Grainger County Central Dispatch at (865) 828-3337.

Changes coming to the Grainger County Jail

Chief Deputy Biddle says there are 103 inmates in the Grainger County Jail. While improvements are being made, 16 of the most violent offenders will be transported to Morgan County.

Biddle says he would consider all the present inmates violent offenders and the investigation continues into who is responsible for the escape.

According to Biddle, jailers were supposed to be counting the inmates every hour, but he says that wasn't being done.

One reason was because the inmates were all over the facility. No door inside the jail locks.

"With the door locks, that we have had problems with for many years that the jail staff can't secure. Can't lock them down, and they can come and go. It's been a real safety issue," Biddle said.

The air locks are broken and keys could be used to secure the doors, but the inmates have damaged the locks.

Higher quality security cameras were added a couple of months ago after inmates continued to vandalize the jail.

Chief Deputy Biddle showed 6 News where the inmates would hang out before the lockdown.

"They'd be back here in this area, kind of hiding, doing their drugs, things like that."

The locks inside the jail are still broken, but Biddle says since the lockdown, the inmates know they have to stay inside their cells.

"They understand not to leave their room. We've got monitors. I've got one in my office and if I see anybody out, it's addressed immediately what are they doing."

6 News saw on security cameras inmates were still getting out of their cells. Biddle says that's not supposed to happen.

"No, that's what I'm about to find out here in just a minute. They shouldn't be doing that."

He says the recreation center has no security camera, so to make the jail more secure, more cameras will be added, the locks will be fixed and bolts on the steel ceiling above the rec center will be welded in place.

The money to fix the jail is coming out of the mayor's general fund budget. The sheriff's office is also looking at adding razor wire and a fence around the jail.

Chief Deputy Biddle says he's tried to get the problems fixed in the past, but vendors would delay repairing and sending in new parts.

With pressure from the district attorney's office, he says the vendors are speeding up the process, and the locks may be fixed as early as Friday.

6 News Reporter STEPHANIE BEECKEN contributed to this report.

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