Escaped prisoner caught at Athens farmhouse

LENOIR CITY (WATE) -- An escaped prisoner was caught at an Athens farmhouse Friday night.

Randy Hicks, 45, of McMinn County, was taken into custody without incident at 8:05 p.m., about 13 hours after he escaped from the annex of the Northeast Correctional Facility at Roan Mountain.

Hicks, who worked as a custodian, escaped through a basement window after breaking the security screen.

He left his prison uniform in Lenoir City and was added to the TBI's Most Wanted List while on the run.

Officers say he may have had help from his wife, Susan Hicks, who's also from McMinn County.

His prison uniform was found in Lenoir City in a residential area near Fifth Avenue and G Street. Police think it was thrown out a car window.

According to the McMinn County sheriff, Hicks and three other inmates beat an inmate to death on Christmas day 1989. He received a 25 year sentence for facilitation to commit first degree murder.

Hicks has also been charged for third degree burglary, robbery and two counts of having contraband in a penal facility.

Plus, he was charged after escaping from the Charles B. Bass Correctional Facility in 1983 and the old McMinn County Jail in 1989.

Hicks was serving a total of 31 years in prison. His sentence was due to end in 2013.

He was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood when he was incarcerated in 2001. However, he was removed from a housing unit for gang members and put into the cultural diversity course class in March 2007.

Hicks hadn't had any disciplinary problems since 2002. By giving him a job as a custodian and putting him in the diversity course, the Department of Corrections was preparing him to re-enter society.

State officials say Hicks will be taken to Brushy Mountain State Prison.