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Bedford Co. Sheriff pleads for resources to repair jail as three inmates escape this week

(Fox 17 News)

The Bedford County Sheriff's Office is looking for two of the three inmates, who escaped from the jail on Thursday.

Kevin Lane Farrar was captured on Friday inside Shelbyville City limits.

"Tennessee Highway patrolmen got in pursuit of a pickup truck that had been stolen in the southern part of our county, and we captured the guy after a brief chase," Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing said. "He jumped out and ran into some woods, and he was in here inside of the city limits of Shelbyville. Couple of our guys ran him down on foot and as it turns out he is Kevin Ferrar."

It's a team effort to captured the escaped inmates, according to Swing. Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and Shelbyville Police are helping his department.

Farrar escaped with Andrew Phillip Marshall and James David Stinnett on Thursday. Marshall and Stinnett are still on the run as of Friday night.

The sheriff said the inmates used a rope made out of bedsheets to scale the side of the jail and escape.

"We had three inmates that managed to get into the duct work, upper part of our jail like the attic," Swing said. "When they were able to get up to that part where there is a large vent that goes to the outside, they pushed out a few sheets of metal that were in. They took bedsheets; tore them and tied them together and made themselves sort of like a rope and scaled down the side of the wall."

Farrar and Marshall were on the run last month after escaping from workhouse on Lane Parkway, according to the sheriff. Farrar was caught two days later after members of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office, US Marshals, Warren County Sheriff's Office, McMinnville Police Department and the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office arrested him in Warren County.

Sheriff Swing is the former Shelbyville Police Chief of 20+ years, before his new position in the sheriffs office a few years ago.

He said inmates damaged a portion of the jail building this year and repairs needed to be made. They used the workhouse to place inmates during the repairs.

"With no where else to take them, we had to take them to the workhouse," Swing said. "The workhouse is a used to be RC cola bottling company so it’s obviously not a secure jail and it’s just used mainly to hold people serving short periods of time for minor offenses and they can get out and work on the roads, helps them get out quicker."

While Farrar is only the latest escapee with that is also a convicted felon.

"No matter what they’re in for, if they’re in jail and escape, we’re always concerned and so are our citizens and rightfully so," Swing said. "That being said, two of the three don’t have any felonies. I think one was in for theft of merchandise may have been shoplifting and the other one was in for simple assault. Neither one of those two to my knowledge have a felony , Kevin Ferrar was a different story. Kevin’s story was aggravated assault… Still aggravated assault is a serious charge and it is a felony so we were more concerned about him than the others . We’re concerned about all of them but mainly him," the sheriff explains.

Bedford County residents like Terrance Eddings said the escapes aren't shocking.

"Nobody is surprised because it happens a lot," Eddings said.

Kaylynn Ferrell said it can be scary.

"Yeah...because some of them are like murderers and rapers and stuff," Ferrell said.

Sheriff Swing said the current Bedford County Jail was built in the 1980s to hold about 60+ inmates. Right now, the houses about 200 inmates.

"I am hoping this will bring to light our dire needs because every single week we are repairing our jail on the inside," Swing said. "It’s just crumbling around us. We have what we call weeping walls and the water seeps through the walls."

"My daddy, I talked to him the other night and he said they were standing in pee and poop like they were soaking wet," Ferrell said.

The sheriff said a new jail is set to be built, and he hopes it breaks ground soon.

"So we can handle these situations a lot better and keep them in there," Swing said.

Farrar won't be returning to the jail according to Swing.

"We're going to get him confined into a secure place and get him into the department of correction," Swing said. "The state team will assist because he is too much of an escape risk, he’s too dangerous and we don’t want to be doing this over with him again."

As far as the other two, Sheriff Swing said they hope to catch them as soon as possible.

"We are still hoping they’re still in the area, not really sure," Swing said. "We will just keep looking for them and hope we can locate them. They’re both local guys. We’re hoping we can capture them soon."

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Marshall and Stinnett should call the sheriff's office at 931-684-3232. Folks with information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.

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