A suspected killer who escaped from a Columbia mental health facility on Thursday has been arrested in Tennessee.
Jason Mark Carter, 39, had been participating in a part-time work program at the G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital in northeast Richland County when he was discovered missing Thursday. Carter had been committed to the facility after he was found mentally incompetent to stand his double murder trial, according to a release from the S.C. Department of Mental Health (SCDMH).
Investigators had initially hinted that Carter may have stole an agency van when he escaped. But SCDMH officials said he was driving a different car when Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers arrested him near a hotel in the town of Fairview, TN about 40 miles west of Nashville on Friday.
State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry told WLTX that Carter had been driving a car with a paper license plate when troopers caught him. He said investigators believe Carter may have bought the car, but are trying to figure out how. Berry added that law enforcement was able to track Carter down through a cell phone he was using.
Carter was charged in the 2006 murder of his mother and stepfather. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Department said Carter was able to escape from the G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital Thursday morning.
Carter was arrested in March 2006, after deputies found the bodies of Kevin and Debra Ann Perkins during a welfare check. Deputies said the Perkins’ were found inside a locked room in the basement. Carter was also inside the room at the time.