Posted Sept. 19, 2007 – A former Tennessee prison nurse has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after admitting to shooting to death a corrections officer so her inmate husband could escape.
Jennifer Hyatte, 33, apologized to the court and to the family of Officer Wayne “Cotton” Morgan, whom she killed on Aug. 9, 2005, as he escorted her husband, George Hyatte, both pictured above, from court to a van that was to take him back to prison.
The fugitive duo made it as far as Columbus, Ohio, where they were captured at a motel 36 hours later.
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George Hyatte, 36, is back in prison, where he is serving 41 years for robbery and related offenses.
“I can’t ask for you to forgive me because what I’ve done is unforgivable, and I don’t deserve it,” Jennifer Hyatte said Monday, standing next to a large photo of Morgan the family set up. “I would take it all back if I could, and I would still accept the punishment.”
That punishment, administered by Criminal Court Judge Eugene Eblen, included life for first-degree murder, 15 years for the attempted first-degree murder of another guard, who was also wounded in the escape, and three years for helping her husband get away. The sentences will run one after the other, The Associated Press reports.
In 2004, Jennifer Hyatte landed a job with a group that provided health care to inmates, but she got fired five months later for sneaking food into the prison for George Hyatte, according to AP. He was transferred to a prison in Nashville, but that didn’t end the relationship; they applied for permission to marry and were wed May 20, 2005.
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