Fentress County officials looking for missing inmate

Fentress County officials looking for missing inmate

Posted: Updated:
Josh Carroll (source: Fentress County Sheriff's Office) Josh Carroll (source: Fentress County Sheriff's Office)
Officials say Carroll was able to damage the fence, pull up the wire and get away. Officials say Carroll was able to damage the fence, pull up the wire and get away.
To ease the overcrowding, a new jail is being built a mile down the road. To ease the overcrowding, a new jail is being built a mile down the road.
By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

JAMESTOWN (WATE) - The Fentress County Sheriff's Office is continuing its search for an escaped inmate. 

According to Fentress County jail administrator Barbara Rogers, Joshua Carroll escaped while a drug search was going inside the jail Monday around 1 p.m. Thirty-seven inmates were outside in a small fenced in area. Two officers were watching the inmates, but Carroll was able to damage the fence, pull up the wire and get away.

Carroll, 35, was discovered missing when he wasn't there for the head count.

Kerry Bradshaw owns a place in Fentress County. It's her getaway retreat, but ever since learning an inmate escaped Monday near her vacation property she's been on edge.

"I'm very concerned knowing that even in a small town like this and I'm getting ice cream I could be watching someone escape and that's kind of frightening," said Bradshaw.

Rogers says the jail is over crowded and Carroll was able to sneak out unnoticed. She says the jail's maximum capacity is 20 inmates, but on Monday they had 58 inmates. 

To ease the overcrowding, a new jail is being built a mile down the road. Rogers says construction is expected to be complete in September. The new facility will hold up to 166 inmates. 

She is also asking commissioners to approve a budget to allow her to hire 14 corrections officers in addition to the current 11.

Bradshaw hopes the changes will improve security.

"Not only that they can house the inmates that they need to but also have a good amount if correctional officers to watch over everyone and make sure that this isn't a regular occurrence," said Bradshaw.

6 News looked up Carroll's criminal history. He has multiple convictions for theft, burglary, vandalism and promoting meth manufacturing. He was in jail on Monday after picking up new aggravated burglary and vandalism charges.

The community has been asked to be on the lookout for Carroll and report any information on his whereabouts. Bradshaw says she is being vigilant and has also told her family to be alert.

"We are in the woods and sometimes I come up by myself and it is nerve racking when you know there is somebody out there so I do hope they do catch him as soon as possible," said Bradshaw.

The jail administrator says the fence has not been fixed. She says since the escape the inmates are no longer allowed to be in the outdoor fenced area.

If caught, Carroll will also face felony escape charges. The sheriff says Carroll also has burglary convictions in Davidson County.

Carroll is described as standing 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 190 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

If you see Carroll, call (931) 879-8142 or 911.

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