ATF joins multistate hunt for 3 escaped inmates


By Brett Barrouquere
Associated Press


This combination of three undated photos released by the Indiana Department of Correction and made available by the Kentucky State Police shows from left to right: Jerry Sargent, 59, Bobby Cockerell III, 31, and Christopher Marshall, 49.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Federal authorities joined the multistate hunt on Wednesday for three escaped inmates accused of attacking three men while on the run in Kentucky and stealing a dozen guns, cash and a truck.

Arrest warrants were issued for Jerry Sargent, Christopher Marshall and Bobby Cockerell on firearms charges stemming from the assault Monday, said George Huffman, a Lexington-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent.

The men escaped from the Branchville Correctional Facility in Indiana on Friday after overpowering an employee then cutting through a fence, authorities said.

Authorities said that three days after their escape, the convicts beat three brothers with clubs in the northern Kentucky town of Sanders before stealing the guns and the truck. The vehicle was described as a dull-green 1998 Ford Ranger with a Kentucky license plate.

Police have been asked to watch out for the inmates in neighboring Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Missouri. But there have been no credible sightings of the men since Monday.

"We still have no idea, no whereabouts as to where they are," Huffman said.

Carroll County Sheriff Ben Smith said they took $7,000 during the robbery in Sanders, about 62 miles northeast of Louisville, and he believes they're no longer in the area.

"They're ready to roll for miles and miles and miles without ... having to stop and rob anything for money," Smith said.

Smith said the men hid in a barn Sunday night at a farm in Sanders before attacking two brothers who lived there and a third who stopped by the house. After tying the men up, they ransacked the house and fled with the money, clothes, ammunition and the firearms that included a high-powered rifle and several handguns.

One of the three men attacked remained hospitalized Wednesday in serious but stable condition with injuries that included bleeding around the brain, Smith said.

"They beat him pretty good. He's lucky to have survived," Smith said. "I think they were trying to kill him."

At the time of the escape, Sargent was serving 50 years for robbery and criminal confinement, Marshall was serving 50 years for dealing cocaine and Cockerell was serving 20 years for burglary.

The arrest warrants issued this week were on charges of being felons in possession of firearms and possession of stolen firearms.

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