The Cocke County sheriff is reacting after a woman who escaped his department's custody ended up dying in a car accident.
Shannon Leffew was facing multiple charges in relation to a Craigslist scam in Anderson County. She, her teenage son, and another woman were accused of stealing money from people who were interested in renting a property they claimed to own.
All three suspects were tracked down to a hotel in Cocke County and arrested, but Leffew escaped from the courthouse, leaving her 3-year old son behind.
On Thursday, authorities learned that Leffew had died in a car accident in Whitley County, Kentucky.
Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes released the following statement about Leffew's escape and death:
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Shannon Leffew. It is a coincidence and very unfortunate that she was killed in a car accident in Kentucky. Every day people make decisions and they must live with the consequence. Ms. Leffew chose to commit criminal acts which victimized many people and chose to flee from authorities. My Officers worked very hard to take her into custody and prevent her from victimizing others and also worked to protect an innocent child she abandoned by fleeing. One Officer, however, made a mistake and thus she escaped our Department's custody. I am not mentioning this Officer's name because he is a good man, has served this community for several years and has a genuine care for the betterment of Cocke County. This Officer will not be punished but commended for his service and honesty. In a perfect world, everything goes as planned but we live in a world which is drug-infested and suffers from people who choose to get involved in criminal behavior. I am just very thankful we have men and women who are serving in our community because of genuine care for others."
The other two suspects in the Craigslist scam, Kayla Marie Beck, 25, of Clinton and Leffew's 17-year-old son, remain behind bars.