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KPD: Suspect arrested after barricading himself in Fountain City home

The suspect, Jason Copley, escaped from the Morgan Co. Correctional Facility after walking away from a work detail, according to the Tennessee Dept. of Corrections

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Morgan County Correctional Facility escapee is in custody after barricading himself in a North Knoxville home early Sunday morning.

The suspect, 44-year-old Jason Copley, peacefully surrendered after approximately three hours of extended negotiations, according to KPD.

The home where Copley barricaded himself is in the 2800 block of Woodrow Drive in Fountain City, KPD said. 

The Tennessee Department of Corrections alerted the Tennessee Highway Patrol about Copley after he walked away from a work detail Saturday evening. THP then contacted KPD based on the suspicion that he could be in the Knoxville area. Copley's last listed address was in Knoxville, KPD said. 

KPD and THP searched numerous locations for Copley but eventually found the suspect at the Fountain City home with an acquaintance, according to KPD. 

TDOC and law enforcement officials attempted to make contact with the occupants. However, the situation escalated when officials reported shots fired inside the home, KPD said.  

KPD Crisis Negotiators were called to the scene to begin negotiations with Copley around 3 a.m. Personnel with KPD's Special Operations Squad also responded to the scene to secure the perimeter, according to KPD. 

No injuries were reported and Copley is now in TDOC custody, KPD said. 

The acquaintance who was in the home with Copley is also in custody and faces charges, TDOC said. 

Copley was sentenced in 2018 for aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping. He picked up a woman he had dated for a week, took her to his home, refused to let her leave and assaulted her.

Copley was scheduled to be released on Jan. 10, 2025. He will now be transferred to a TDOC maximum-security facility. In addition to escape charges, Copley could face several additional charges, TDOC said. 

A thorough review will be conducted to ensure all policies were followed, whether procedures should be revisited and to determine if Copley may have received any additional assistance escaping, according to TDOC.