- Associated Press - Saturday, October 22, 2016

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Police have located a man who fled two weeks ago during his murder trial in Chattanooga.

Authorities found 22-year-old Christopher Padgett inside a Brainerd home early Friday morning. He had been on the run since cutting off his ankle monitor the day before he was sentenced to life in prison for the 2012 slaying of a taxi driver.

Police found Padgett hiding under a mattress, The Chattanooga Times Free Press (bit.ly/2dJFRwh) reported.

Earlier this month, after waiting more than four years to try the case, prosecutors said cellphone records proved Padgett shot 31-year-old Nathan Deere in the back of the head and robbed him.

Prosecutors rested their case on Oct. 5 after calling to the stand police officers, eyewitnesses and an expert witness, who said Padgett was in the same area as Deere when the homicide happened. The next morning, Padget has disappeared.

Officials said Padgett cut his ankle monitor around 1:40 a.m. and fled from his mother’s apartment, where he had been staying since he made a $350,000 bond just days before his trial began. Prior to that, he had been in Hamilton County Jail for nearly a year and a half, records show.

Ruling that attorneys could continue without Padgett present, a judge sentenced him to life in prison Oct. 7.

Another man, 21-year-old Javonte Wynn, who was in the house where Padgett was found, was charged on outstanding warrants for evading arrest and a firearms violation.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com

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