Cocke County Sheriff’s Office searches for escaped inmate


NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) – The Cocke County Sheriff’s Office is searching for an inmate that escaped bailiffs’ custody Monday.

CCSO says they are looking for William “Billy” Hance, age 47, who was being moved Monday from the Cocke County General Sessions Court back to the Cocke County Jail Annex, when he escaped.

Hance fled custody on foot while handcuffed in front, running down the courthouse stairs and exiting the building.

“The supervising officer was unaware that Hance had fled from his presence,” a CCSO statement reads.

Hance was in custody for the following charges:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Driving while license revoked
  • Reckless driving
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Kidnapping
  • Financial responsibility
  • Evading arrest
  • Failure to exercise due care
  • Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle
  • Failure to maintain his lane of travel

Anyone who sees Hance is asked to call 911.

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