Home / National News / Tennessee Inmates Captured in Georgia Following High-Speed Chase


(DALTON, Ga.) — Two inmates who escaped from a jailhouse in rural Tennessee were captured in northern Georgia hours later Friday night following a high-speed chase, authorities said.

The inmates, identified as Adam Lethco, 24, and Matthew Porter, 27, had been on the run since escaping from a Jefferson County jail with two other inmates early Friday morning.

The escape occurred when deputies were treating Lethco for a hand injury at the Jefferson County Work House in Dandridge. As the deputies left the prison cell, four inmates assaulted them and stole the keys to a deputy’s vehicle before fleeing the jailhouse at around 12:15 a.m., according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The stolen vehicle, a black Chevy, was spotted by a volunteer firefighter on Highway 411 and later found abandoned on a road in Sevierville. Soon after, Sevier County deputies took one of the escaped inmates — identified as 22-year-old Jimmy Moore — into custody. Then at around 3:45 a.m., deputies from Sevier and Jefferson counties took another escaped inmate into custody, 26-year-old Richard Lorenz, deputies said.

Moore and Lorenz were transported back to Jefferson County jail and charged with aggravated assault on an officer and escape. Meanwhile, Lethco and Porter stole a flatbed truck and led authorities on a high-speed chase, Jefferson County Sheriff G. W. “Bud” McCoig said.

Lethco is serving an eight-year sentence for aggravated burglary, theft and vehicle theft. Porter is in the first year of a six-year sentence for reckless endangerment and evading arrest. He is also wanted in Alabama for violating probation and is to serve 12 years in prison there, according to deputies.

Georgia authorities took over when the two men crossed the state line on Interstate 75. The hours-long chase ended just south of Dalton, where state troopers used stop sticks to blow out the tires of the stolen vehicle, according to a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Lethco and Porter were taken into custody and transported to the Whitfield County Jail. Georgia State Patrol will only be handling any traffic charges related to the pursuit, authorities said.

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