Sheriff says inmates who walked away from work detail will be caught

Posted at 4:44 PM, Oct 28, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two escaped Davidson County inmates remain at large — staying one step ahead of authorities.

The manhunt continues and more time passes with no sightings. Authorities think they may have left the area.

Sheriff Daron Hall thinks there's also a good chance someone is helping them stay hidden.

It's been three days now since the two inmates walked away from a work detail on Harding Place in Nashville. Low security, with non-violent offenders and these guys just decided to take off.

"I've had it before where they were a month away from going home and they take off maybe to a girlfriend or an issue they want to take care of. It's really silly," said Hall.

Silly, he says, because both were likely just months or weeks from being released for probation violations.

"What's ridiculous is they're going to be caught," Hall said.

But not yet, which is a bit of a surprise.

Steven Hooberry, 32, of Joelton and 34-year-old Jason Morris, of Antioch, are still at large.

Monday morning they were taken from the jail to the Correctional Services Center for assignment — mowing lawns or doing janitorial work.

"These guys are classified by our staff to be low risk enough to go work outside clearance," said Hall.

They should know running is not smart because they're so close to their release date.

"You have people who are knuckleheads who leave the scene so that charge will now be an escape," Hall said.

The sheriff said a handful of inmates do walk away each year. He knows from experience they plan the escape, but not what happens next.

"You need a job. You need money. You need things to live. It's fine that first night, maybe the second night, but you have to find a way to get up and go," he said.

And, that is when they'll be caught. The sheriff says it's possible the two are being helped by others and anyone who does that will be charged with harboring a fugitive.

Metro police are heading up the search for the two escapees. When they are caught they'll face up to an additional year in jail.