State inmate convicted of several violent crimes re-captured in

State inmate convicted of several violent crimes re-captured in Johnson County

Posted: Updated:
Joshua Baber (Source: Tennessee Department of Corrections) Joshua Baber (Source: Tennessee Department of Corrections)
JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) - A state prison inmate who escaped from custody Thursday, was allowed on a work detail despite being convicted for several violent crimes, a News Channel 11 investigation has revealed.

Joshua Baber, 24, walked away from a work detail Thursday.  Baber is an inmate at the Northeast Correction Facility Annex in Mountain City, TN and had seven years left on his prison sentence for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, especially aggravated burglary charges in Blount and Sevier Counties.

According to a circuit court document from Sevier County, Baber reportedly kidnapped and took items from Donnie Bryant, Kristina Burnell, Amy Adams, Adam Rayfield, Rebecca Burnell and Aden Burnell on June 13, 2010.

He allegedly held them at gunpoint and took several items from them, which included money, jewelry, medication and cigarettes.

Baber was originally sentenced to 12 years in prison for the crime.

Officers took him back into custody several hours later in Johnson County.

According to the Tennessee Department of Correction, inmates are eligible for work crew if they meet specific criteria.  The inmate must be labeled at the minimum custody level, be within 10 years of their prison sentence expiring, and convicted of a non-violent crime.  If the inmate has a violent offense conviction, that inmate must receive the warden's written approval.    "Joshua Baber met all that criteria and had the warden's approval," TDOC spokesman Robert Reburn said.

Baber is back at the Northeast Correctional Complex and could face up to five additional years in prison for escaping.

According to the FBI, "violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault."





Joshua Baber, the inmate who walked away from a work detail in Mountain City on the morning of Thursday March 6,  is now back in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction.

Joshua Michael Baber, 24, was apprehended Friday early morning in Johnson County.

Tennessee Department of Correction Agents along with Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Johnson County Sheriff’s Department combined their efforts and resources to search and capture Joshua Baber.

Baber, had seven years remaining on his sentence for convictions in Blount and Sevier Counties of burglary, kidnapping and theft of property.

Baber has been transported back to Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City and could face up to five additional years for the escape, which will be added to his current sentence.

Details of his escape are still under investigation at this time.


This was the latest report as of 9:30pm on Thursday:

News Channel 11's Josh Smith contacted a spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Correction at 9:30 p.m. Thursday to get an update on the search for escaped state prison inmate Joshua Baber.  

"At this time we have no new information," said Robert Reburn, public information officer for the Tennessee Department of Correction.

We also asked TDOC how Baber, convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to state custody, became eligible for a work detail   "After the department’s extensive assessment, inmate Baber met all qualifications and guidelines to be placed on the minimum custody level," Reburn said.

 
Here's the original report:


Authorities in Mountain City need your help finding a man who escaped from prison in Mountain City, TN.

The Tennessee Department of Corrections and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office are searching for Joshua M. Baber, a minimum-custody inmate, escaped from the Northeast Correctional Complex –Annex.

He was found to be missing from a work detail this afternoon.

Baber had about seven years remaining on his sentence and was previously convicted of burglary, kidnapping and theft of property.

If you have any information on his whereabouts call 1-844-TDC-FIND (1-844-832-3463).

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