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Surveillance video shows 'dangerous' teens escaping Juvenile Justice Center

Posted: 1:58 PM, Dec 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-04 07:56:34-05
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Newly released surveillance video shows four "dangerous" teens escaping the Davidson County Juvenile Justice Center.

Decorrius Wright, 16, Morris Marsh, 17, Brandon Caruthers, 17, and Calvin Howse, 15, are still on the run following Saturday night's escape.

As the video was being released, Juvenile Court officials pleaded for the four teens to surrender to police.

"Our fear is that they may have that mentality that they have nothing to lose, and they need to know that is not true," said Juvenile Court Administrator Kathy Sinback.

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The teens were described as "dangerous." Wright and Marsh suspects in two murder cases. Caruthers and Howse were locked up on robbery and gun possession charges. Monday evening, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation added Caruthers to their Top 10 Most Wanted List.

READ MORE: Broken: Juvenile escapees all have violent histories

The video, released under the Tennessee Public Records Act, first shows the four offenders shortly after they exited from an elevator that led from the detention facility to a public area in the basement of the Juvenile Justice Center.

Marsh first runs toward the camera headed for a fenced parking lot that would have impended his escape.

But the murder suspect quickly turns around and follows the others up the stairs.

A second camera angle shows them reaching the top of the stairs on the Juvenile Justice Center's main floor. A third camera shows them exiting the front door of the building, while an exterior camera shows them running down the front steps.

One of the escapees can be seen tossing a yellow work vest as he exits the building.

Sinback urged the teens to consider that other people have faced similar dire legal circumstances and have been able to turn their lives around.

"We know that these children have a future - even the ones who are facing long prison sentences as adults," Sinback said.

"They have a very bright future ahead of them, regardless of where they end up. We need them to realize that and to just make the decision to turn themselves in safely for the benefit of themselves, for the benefit of the community. It will look much better for them if they turn themselves in."

Juvenile Court officials initially denied media requests for the video because of an on-going criminal investigation. NewsChannel 5 argued that a recent Court of Appeals ruling won by the station means that public records do no cease to become public just because they are of interest to investigators.

The detention center is operated by a private company, Youth Opportunity Investments (YOI). The company announced Monday that it had fired three workers following the escape. One other was suspended.

READ MORE: 'Critical oversights' allowed 4 teens, including 2 murder suspects, to escape detention center

A report released by YOI says the teens were out of their cells cleaning when their supervisor left the group to break up a fight somewhere else in the facility, the four then got onto an elevator that was left open and convinced a staff member to send the elevator to the basement, which is an unsecured area. Once in the basement they were able to leave the facility.

There was a significant delay in reporting the escape to police. Metro Nashville Police Department officials say the delay contributed to the teens not being found yet.

The MNPD Major Crimes Task Force opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the escape.

An inside look at the MNPD command center for the search was posted on social media, saying "This is the MNPD's active command center for the continuing search for the 4 escaped teens."

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PHOTO: MNPD
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PHOTO: MNPD

Police officials believe the teens are likely still in Davidson County. Anyone with information on where the teens could be was asked to call 615-742-7463.