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franklin county times
Left to right, Hollimon, Hawkins and Welborn

Three attempt FC Jail escape

“It could have been worse” was the thought Franklin County Sheriff’s Office investigator Jordan Seahorn was left with following an attempted escape Sunday from the Franklin County Jail.

Three inmates, Scott Hawkins, 52, Russellville, Joshua Hollimon, 33, Russellville, and Tony Welborn, 34, Spruce Pine, forced their way past the jailer in a Sunday attempt to escape from the jail, Seahorn said. According to investigators, the jailer was letting Hollimon out to make a phone when, in what investigators said was clearly an orchestrated maneuver, Hawkins and Welborn also forced their way out of the cell, wrested the jailer’s Taser from her and also managed to procure a knife from a secured inmate property area.

Seahorn said the inmates took control of a computer used to access jail doors. The inmates were successful in opening the inner door, but the secondary outer door, Seahorn said, had to be operated by a different computer system. The inmates were unable to activate it – a safety measure, Seahorn said, that operated just the way it was supposed to in order to prevent just this sort of incident.

Inmates allegedly exited the inner door and were apparently going to try to force their way through the outer door when other jail personnel responded to the scene. At that point, according to investigators, Hawkins deployed the Taser at the oncoming officers but did not hit any of them. All three were taken back into custody.

According to investigators, all three, who were jailed on various burglary/theft/property crimes, were charged with escape first degree, disarming a law enforcement officer and promoting prison contraband first degree. Welborn and Hawkins were additionally charged with assault on an officer and assault second degree.

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