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Sheriff’s Department seeking public’s help in locating escaped inmate

Kenny Gouge

By Richard Rourk
The Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in locating an escaped inmate.

According to Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley, an inmate who was being escorted from court along with two other inmates managed to escape. “Inmate Kenny Gouge was dressed in an orange jail uniform, handcuffed and shackled,” Hensley said. “There were two correctional officers escorting the inmates back to the jail when he ran. One of the correctional officers pursued Gouge after making sure the others were secured and immediately alerted 911 that there was an escape.”

Hensley confirmed that a perimeter was set up immediately, but there was no sign of Gouge. “The correctional officer lost sight of Gouge heading toward Elm Street in Erwin,” Hensley said. “Officers within a minute saturated the area searching for Gouge.”

According to Hensley, Gouge was facing multiple charges but he expects more to follow when Gouge is apprehended. “Gouge was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, evading arrest and criminal trespassing,” Hensley said. “Gouge was also on probation from previous charges.”

Hensley is asking the public to contact the authorities at once if they have any information on Gouge’s whereabouts. “If anyone has information of Gouge’s whereabouts or spots him, call 911 immediately,” Henley said. “Do not attempt to apprehend Gouge. Anyone who can escape the way he did should be considered dangerous.”

The Erwin Record will report as more details become available.