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



ABC News

The N.Y. Daily News

One Response to "South Carolina Escaped Mental Patient Accused in Killings Caught"

  1. Aurora Gee   January 4, 2014 at 10:04 am

    There lies a lot of questions around this disturbing case. Most disturbing to me is the fact that Jason Carter murdered his parents in the first place. In no way shape or form is murder acceptable. That’s a statement. Sometimes a question in my mind. Am I second guessing my own morals? Maybe. However my point being that what kind of person murders their parents? I would think it would be someone definitely mentally disturbed, but more so someone who has been seriously emotionally abused and cant decipher his feelings between good, bad , right, wrong & morally correct. I personally have a son that is mildly retarded (although retarded is now politically incorrect.. and I have to say challenged; which is a whole new can of worms up for discussion on a later date.) Anyway I can personally guarantee that my son is never going to kill me or anyone else for that matter.
    I believe that if a child is nourished mentally and physically with a healthy protocol and the parents pay attention to what they are doing and what the child is doing that you will end up with a mentally healthy child. My “mentally challenged” son doesn’t understand a lot of things but he understands that if he doesn’t ‘get it” that we understand. We are caring and respectful of his feelings and his condition. He knows he is different and he knows we accept that and we protect him but we do not hide him, nor condone any fresh behavior.
    So at the end of the day when I see these kinds of cases I wonder if the punishment is just. If the punishment fits the crime? Was his childhood history looked into? Or because he murdered the parents is he now the only bad guy? I’m not saying his parents had it coming and in most ways most of us don’t condone murder.
    So would Jason Carter murder again? Or was it just a vendetta against his parents? He didn’t murder anyone to escape from the mental institution, however, he did steal a van though, and he now faces new charges, charges that have no comparison to murder I am sure. Does the hospital staff that was on duty face any charges for. lets say neglect? If Jason Carter was able to murder again would the hospital have been responsible for the negligence that occurred or possibly for another murder? And does this say about state employees & state facilities? Are they holding a dangerous mentally disturbed murderer or not? And if so where is the protocol? Who is really accountable for this? Is Jason Carter accountable or the staff that let him slip out the door?

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