A former prison nurse opened fire on guards escorting her shackled husband from a Tennessee courthouse Tuesday, killing one guard and escaping with her husband in a sport-utility vehicle, authorities said.
Convict George Hyatte, 34, shouted "Shoot him!" to wife Jennifer Hyatte, 31, and she opened fire with at least six shots from a handgun, scattering dozens of witnesses outside the Roane County courthouse, Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said.
Three bullets struck guard Wayne "Cotton" Morgan, 56, who died at a hospital.
Morgan was one of two guards escorting George Hyatte back to a prison van in the courthouse parking lot after his arraignment on aggravated burglary charges.
Witness C.G. Gray said he and his wife were about 50 feet from the prisoner when they heard shots. He said Morgan, who was not wearing a protective vest, never got his gun out of his holster.
Hyatte climbed into the SUV being driven by his wife, and the two sped off while a guard returned fire, authorities said. The vehicle was found nearby with three bullet holes and blood on the driver's side, indicating Jennifer Hyatte may have been wounded, Washam said. Authorities believe the pair switched to a van.
George Hyatte was in court to be tried on an outstanding burglary charge. He had served two years of a 35-year sentence for robbery and assault convictions.
Jennifer Hyatte was once a nurse under contract to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, in Tiptonville, but her contract was terminated when she struck up a relationship with inmate George Hyatte, according to a department spokeswoman.