August 9, 2005

Wife frees inmate husband, kills guard in Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - A former prison nurse opened
fire on guards escorting her shackled husband from a Tennessee
courthouse on Tuesday, killing one guard and escaping with her
husband in a sport utility vehicle, authorities said.

Convict George Hyatte, 34, shouted "shoot 'em" to wife
Jennifer Hyatte, 31, and she opened fire with at least six
shots from a handgun, scattering dozens of witnesses outside
the Roane County courthouse in Kingston, Kingston Police Chief
Jim Washam said.

Three bullets struck guard Wayne "Cotton" Morgan, 56, who
died at a hospital.

Morgan was one of two guards escorting the shackled and
handcuffed Hyatte back to a prison van in the courthouse
parking lot following his arraignment on aggravated burglary

Hyatte climbed into the SUV being driven by his wife and
the two sped off while a guard returned fire. The vehicle was
found nearby with three bullet holes and blood on the driver's
side, indicating Jennifer Hyatte may have been wounded, Washam

George Hyatte was in court to be tried on an outstanding
burglary charge. He had served two years of a 35-year sentence
for robbery and assault convictions.

Jennifer Hyatte was once a nurse under contract to the
Tennessee Department of Corrections in Tiptonville, but her
contract was terminated when she struck up a relationship with
inmate George Hyatte, according to a department spokeswoman.

"There is a complete and thorough manhunt for the escapee
and his wife Jennifer," Amanda Sluss said.

Kingston is 35 miles west of Knoxville in eastern