All three jail escapees now in custody

Friday, December 21, 2012
John Vincent Lovvorn, left, and James Bradley Lynch, right, are returned to Bedford County Jail by Sgt. Josh Tolar and Deputy Steven Daugherty. (T-G Photo by David Melson)

Two of three escapees from Bedford County Jail were captured in Warren County early today, and the other was picked up a few hours later in Murfreesboro.

John Vincent Lovvorn, 20, of Shelbyville and James Bradley Lynch, 22, of Unionville were taken into custody about 4:30 a.m. by deputies from Warren and Bedford counties, Sheriff Randall Boyce said.

Allen Ray Harris, 34, of Murfreesboro was picked up in a motel there at mid-morning, according to Boyce.

Lovvorn was being held on charges of aggravated robbery, burglary, theft of property and vandalism; Lynch on meth-related charges; and Harris on a charge of failure to appear.

The three escaped Bedford County Jail before sunrise Thursday using a screwdriver, fork and knife.

They were working in the jail's kitchen about 4:30 a.m. and used the items to damage a door and make their escape, Capt. Tony Barrett of the Bedford County Sheriff's Department said.

"They tampered with the lock so they could use the fork to open it," Barrett said. They had probably been working on it for awhile."

The inmates had just exited and re-entered the jail moments before their escape, Barrett said.

Allen Ray Harris is led back to Bedford County Jail by Detective Lt. Scott Jones, left, and Capt. David Williams Sr. (T-G Photo by David Melson)

"They had just gone out the door with the jailer to take out the garbage. They came back in, the jailer shook the door to see if it was locked and he left."

Cardboard was shoved into a door lock to affect its operation, Boyce said.

The door opens into a locked, fenced-in area. The escapees broke the lock on the fence's door to break free,

A security camera mounted directly above the door and aimed toward the escapees' path obtained no images, Barrett said.

The men had alerted someone to pick them up using a cell phone smuggled into the jail, Boyce said.

A type of trusty status allowed the escapees to work in the kitchen, Barrett said.

"They were filling in. The state sent our cooking crew to state prison," according to Barrett.

The "cooking crew" were among 35 inmates transferred to a state facility within the past month from the local jail, which is considered overcrowded by state and federal standards.

"The state says it's outdated," Boyce said. "It doesn't have the right structure. It has little, narrow hallways and you don't have (inmates) running in and out of the cellblocks in new jails."

Thursday's incident was the second escape this year.

Andrew Phillip Marshall, 19, climbed through an opening behind a light fixture into a ventilation system which opens to the outside, then leaped to freedom on Aug. 11.

He was captured the next day at a Shelbyville home.

The Shelbyville police officer injured in a traffic accident while rushing to the jail shortly after the escape was reported was released Thursday from Heritage Medical Center.

Todd Sanders suffered a concussion after his patrol car struck Veterans Memorial Bridge on South Cannon Boulevard in heavy rain, Police Chief Austin Swing said.