Inmate captured after walking away from Claiborne County work detail

Stephen Eugene Gibson (source: Claiborne County Sheriff's Office)

TAZEWELL (WATE) – The Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday was able to locate an inmate who walked away from a work detail earlier in the week. The man’s wife and grandmother were also charged for assisting him.

Deputies say Stephen Eugene Gibson, 20, had made several phone calls from the jail before he walked off from a work detail Tuesday where he was picking up litter.

Officers went to a home on Goins Cemetery Lane in Tazewell, the home of Gibson’s grandmother Carol M. Blake, 68. She was taken into custody after it was learned she helped Gibson escape.

Early Thursday morning, the investigation continued into Union County where officers had developed leads on the location of Gibson and his wife Fancy Gibson, 19. Both were taken into custody.

“The holiday season is often a time inmates want to visit their families when locked up, but it is unusual that the families assist in their escape,” said Sheriff David Ray.

All three have been charged with permitting or facilitating escape and are awaiting arraignment.

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