- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A fugitive inmate and his wife, wanted in a brazen courthouse escape and shooting in Tennessee, were captured last night at an Ohio motel after a tip from the cab driver, authorities said.

George Hyatte and Jennifer Forsyth Hyatte were in a room at an America’s Best Value Inn in Columbus and were arrested without a struggle, said Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“We have found weapons,” he said. “We don’t know if it’s the murder weapon, but we’re processing those as we speak.”

On Tuesday, authorities say, Jennifer Hyatte, 31, ambushed two guards as they were leading her 34-year-old husband from a courthouse hearing in Kingston, Tenn. Guard Wayne “Cotton” Morgan was fatally shot in the escape.

Mr. Gwyn said the Hyattes would be brought back to Tennessee on warrants for first-degree murder. They were arrested nearly 300 miles north of Kingston. Jennifer Hyatte had some injuries, he said, but he declined to elaborate.

Authorities got a tip around 9 p.m. that the couple was at the Columbus motel after a cab driver who had driven the couple there from Erlanger, Ky., called police, U.S. Marshal John Schickel said.

He declined to give any additional information or identify the cab driver.

After the tip, authorities surrounded the Columbus motel, said John Bolen, a supervisor for the U.S. Marshals Service in Columbus.

Authorities called the couple’s room, told them they were surrounded and the couple came out of their room and surrendered, Mr. Bolen said. They didn’t say anything during the arrest, he said.

Earlier in the day, authorities had tracked down a van the couple was believed to have used outside a motel in Erlanger, Ky., just south of Cincinnati.

The couple was gone, but authorities knew then that they were getting close.

Blood had been found in the motel room, and an employee at a nearby restaurant told federal agents she had given directions that day to a couple she later recognized as the fugitives.

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