South Carolina Escaped Mental Patient Accused in Killings Caught

South Carolina Escaped Mental Patient Accused in Killings Caught

A South Carolina mental patient, who had been charged with the 2006 murders of his mother and stepfather, had escaped from the hospital he was being held in on Thursday. However, he was quickly captured on Friday in the state of Tennessee, stated police authorities, but not before he had sent investigators on an interstate manhunt.

Jason Carter, age 39, was able to drive away from a psychiatric hospital, in which he had been placed, in Columbia, South Carolina, in a stolen state owned van. He was working as a maintenance person at the hospital, stated a spokesperson for the South Carolina State Department of Mental Health.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol explained that state troopers caught sight of Carter very early on Friday morning. He was at a hotel that was sitting close to an Interstate 40 exit just west of Nashville. Carter was then taken into custody without any incident, the Highway Patrol added.

Mental health officials state it is unknown how Carter was able to escape from the psychiatric hospital.

The Tennessee State Police stated that it appeared to them that Carter had stolen the mental hospital van and then later bought a Chevrolet Lumina after ditching the van. He had proceeded to check into the hotel where he was discovered, but as of this time it remains unknown how he had any money in order to buy the car or rent the hotel room.

Carter had been institutionalized in 2009 in the psychiatric hospital when a judge decided he was not guilty by reason of insanity in the horrific double murders of his stepfather Kevin Perkins, age 57 and his mother Debra Ann Perkins age 51.  Back in March of 2006, South Carolina deputies discovered Carter locked inside a room down in the basement of his parents’ home. He was with the two bodies of his parents. They had both been covered tightly in plastic and were located underneath a mattress. Carter was found standing over their corpses..

He had rung up numerous fake charges on his stepfather’s credit cards just prior to the murders.

The couple had each been shot and both of the bodies had been in the room for several days. There was never any sort of motive established for either of the deaths.

For a person that a judge once said was unable to distinguish between what was right and wrong, Carter was able to plan quite the elaborate scheme in order to elude police investigators. As was stated above, he stole the hospital van, but ditched it after buying a car. He drove the Chevy Lumina down Interstate 40 well into Tennessee and arrived at the hotel where he was later discovered, about 4:30 a.m., stated police authorities.

Tennessee state police were able to track Carter’s cellphone, cornered the escaped patient about 9:15 a.m. and were able to arrest him without any sort of incident.

Carter will now be sent back to South Carolina where he will end up facing a bunch of new charges, which include larceny, due to him stealing the hospital van. The mental patient had been charged with the 2006 murders of his mother and stepfather, but escaped from the hospital on Thursday.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

CNN

ABC News

The N.Y. Daily News