NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Police in Tennessee were searching for four teenagers who escaped from a juvenile detention center in Nashville on Saturday night.
One of the escapees, Decorrius Wright, 16, is a suspect in the February slaying of a Carlisle High School graduate who was a rock band’s frontman. The teens broke out of the downtown facility Saturday night and are believed to be armed and dangerous, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a news release.
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Davidson County Juvenile Court Administrator Kathryn Sinback said a supervisor asked the four to clean an area. Sinback said the supervisor left to check on a fight in another part of the building, and the four were left unsupervised. She said the teens got on an elevator that had been “left ajar” and “were then able to convince a staff member” to send the elevator to the unsecured basement.
“Upon exiting the elevator in the basement, the youth were able to enter a public area of Juvenile Court and run out the front door of the Juvenile Justice Center,” Sinback said.
The supervisor on duty notified the facility director that the youths were missing at 9:57 p.m. and drove around looking for the teens before alerting police some 25 minutes later. More than a half-hour elapsed before police were notified of the escape.
Wright is accused in the slaying of Nashville musician and Carlisle High School graduate Kyle Yorlets, who was found shot to death outside his home in February. A 17-year-old escapee is a suspect in another slaying. The other two escapees, ages 15 and 17, were facing armed robbery charges.
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Police initially said the teens were reportedly seen at a gas station early Sunday in Clarksville, which is about 47 miles northwest of Nashville. But after a juvenile crime task force officer reviewed security video, it was determined the people in the video weren’t the fugitives.
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Yorlets, the frontman for the rock band Carverton, was fatally shot Feb. 7 and police charged three girls and two boys with criminal homicide. Police said the youths were in a stolen pickup truck in an alley behind Yorlets’ home when they spotted him outside. They are accused of stealing his wallet, demanding the keys to his vehicle and shooting him when he refused.
The Tennessean in Nashville reported Monday that Wright escaped two days before a hearing to determine if his case would be transferred to adult court. Judge Sheila Calloway delayed the hearing until January to allow police time to capture Wright.
The hearing for a teenage girl also accused in the Yorlets murder was also delayed until January.
The Tennessean also reported that court documents show Wright had been recorded telling one of the other suspects that he shot Yorlets.
Several staff members at the juvenile detention center have been placed on leave while a court reviews the escape.
News outlets reported that Sinback said in a statement Monday that “critical oversights” by multiple staff members at the Nashville center allowed the escape to happen.
The contractor that runs the facility, Youth Opportunity Investments, took several measures to improve security, including limiting elevator access to staff only, Sinback said.