Carter County transfers double murder suspect to max security prison

CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- Eric Azotea, the man accused of killing Amber Terrell and Art Gibson and hiding their bodies beneath his home is now residing in a different jail. Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford confirmed the move to News Channel 11 on Friday.

In addition to being charged with two counts of first-degree murder, you may also recognize Azotea as the man charged with trying to escape from the Carter County jail back in January, but now Azotea no longer resides behind bars in Carter County.

jailCarter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said, “Because of the public risk involved, we can’t take any chances whatsoever, we can’t let him near the outside wall, we can’t let him go anywhere without escorts … it creates a nightmare for us from a security standpoint and it restricts his movement quite a bit.”

Lunceford said that Azotea was transferred to Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville on Thursday primarily because of his alleged attempted escape. Lunceford says they are taking steps to ensure public safety and that meant transferring Azotea to a high-security prison.

“Once they do make an escape attempt it changes their classification and then we do things within our system that prevent them from making a second or subsequent escape,” Lunceford said.

Lunceford says the sheriff’s office will still have to transport Azotea back to Carter County on weeks that he has hearings. According to District Attorney General Tony Clark, Azotea is set to appear in court on Monday.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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