Update: More information released on  inmate discovered dead in Hamblen jail

Sheriff Esco Jarnagin said an investigation is ongoing after an inmate who came into the jail was discovered dead Monday morning

“We’re still looking at this situation,” Jarnagin said.

The identity and the age of the deceased man and time of death were not being made public as of press time. The inmate died sometime Sunday night. The cause of death were also not available as of press time. Jarnagin said an autopsy would be conducted.

“He was under our observation and just died,” Jarnagin said.

The sheriff said he would also be speaking with the Morristown Police Department, which brought the inmate in for booking. He said he had questions about the medical evaluation given beforehand. If a person is arrested and showing trauma, they need medical attention first, he said.

“I want these people to be seen by medical personnel before being brought to my jail,” he said.

According to reports released after press time, the man was Robert Rush, 38, of McConnell Street in Morristown.

Morristown Police Chief Roger Overholt said he has reviewed the video of Rush's arrest which occurred about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

"There is no physical indication of trauma or medical distress displayed by him.  Mr. Rush was coherent and moving about freely in our officers’ video though he appears to be under the influence of some intoxicant," Overholt said. "We were informed this morning that Mr. Rush died during the night. This is a very unfortunate event and we extend our condolences to Mr. Rush’s family and friends."

See Tuesday's edition of the Citizen Tribune for more.  

One jailed following pursuit

Newport police jailed one man following a pursuit early Saturday morning.

Newport Capt. Brad Ball said he spotted a car and a pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed on the Cosby Highway under cover of darkness.

The two vehicles fled onto Lakeview Street, then onto Prospect Avenue. The officer lost sight of the pickup, but Ball continued the pursuit of the car “at dangerous and high speeds,” narrowly missing other vehicles. The chase car continued onto Holley Street where it jumped the curb onto Jefferson Avenue where the driver surrendered.

Jalen Pruitt, 21, Woodlawn Avenue, Newport, was taken into custody and a quantity of marijuana was recovered from the car.

Ball said the behavior of Pruitt “placed himself, his passenger, the officers involved and the public in danger as he recklessly fled through residential neighborhoods.”

Now Pruitt faces charges of felony evading arrest, reckless endangerment, running a stop sign, speeding and possession of marijuana.


THP investigating I-81 crash

The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the investigation is continuing into a Saturday evening crash on Interstate 81 in Jefferson County.

Dillon Smith, 24, White Pine, was southbound at 8:50 p.m., when his 2002 Chrysler PT ran into the rear of another vehicle near the 1-mile marker.

The second vehicle, a 2005 GMC Sierra, was operated by Andrew Futrell, 26, Harriman, and he had three passengers with him.

According to the THP, after Smith rear ended Futrell, the collision caused Futrell to skid into the left lane and into the median on the left side of the roadway where it went into a rollover and rolled several times before coming to rest on its driver side in the median. The Smith vehicle eventually came to rest on the right shoulder.

Futrell who was wearing a seat belt was flown by medical helicopter from the scene to the UT Medical Center in Knoxville.

Smith was taken by the Jefferson County EMS to Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System.