COLUMBIA, S.C. — A 39-year-old man who escaped custody at a Columbia mental institution was arrested in Tennessee on Friday morning.
Jason Mark Carter was apprehended without incident by the Tennessee Highway Patrol at a motel west of Nashville.
He is suspected of stealing a white van from the state hospital and later purchasing a Chevrolet Lumina. The THP issued a BOLO for the vehicle at 6:30 a.m. Friday after South Carolina authorities pinged Carters cellphone and discoverd he may be traveling west on Interstate 40.
Just 30 minutes later, a Tennessee trooper saw the Lumina at the Fairview Inn on Exit 182. The trooper found that Carter had checked into the hotel at 4:30 a.m. The THPs Special Operations Unit arrived and took Carter into custody at about 9:15 a.m.
Carter faces charges of larceny and being a fugitive from justice in the Williamson County Jail, where awaits extradition. He has a court date scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 16 in General Sessions Court in Williamson County.
Carter was a patient at the G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital off Farrow Road since he was found incompetent to stand trial in the killing of his mother and stepfather until he escaped on Thursday.
Carter may have been able to purchase a vehicle with money earned through paid work program at the mental health facility.
According to Mark Binkley, deputy director of administration for the S.C. Department of Mental Health, Carter was a part of a patient work program. An agency directive said the program allows patients to receive pay for jobs following special training and approval of treatment team. When Carter escaped on Thursday, he was in a supply building while working his job, Binkley said.
Carter was charged with two counts of murder in the March 2006 deaths of 52-year-old Debra Perkins and 57-year-old Kevin Perkins. Authorities said the couple was found wrapped in plastic in the basement of their home near Lake Hartwell in Seneca.
Carter was found competent to stand trial in January 2009, but a judge in October 2009 found him not guilty by reason of insanity and committed him to a state mental hospital.