ATF Joins The Search For Jail Escapees

CAMPBELLSBURG, Ky. (AP) - Federal authorities joined the multistate hunt on Wednesday for three escaped inmates accused of assaulting three men in Kentucky and stealing a dozen guns, cash and a truck.

Lexington-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agent
George Huffman said arrest warrants were issued for Jerry Sargent,
Christopher Marshall and Bobby Cockerell on firearms charges stemming from the assault Monday. The men escaped from the Branchville Correctional Facility in Indiana on Friday after overpowering an employee then cutting through a fence, authorities said.

Police said the escaped inmates attacked three brothers in the northern Kentucky town of Sanders and stole items that included clothing. One of the firearms was a high-powered rifle, and authorities described the truck as a dull-green 1998 Ford Ranger with a Kentucky license plate.

Police have been asked to watch out for the inmates in neighboring Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Missouri. So far, few leads have emerged.

"We still have no idea, no whereabouts as to where they are," Huffman said.

At the time of the escape, Sargent was serving 50 years for robbery and criminal confinement, Marshall was serving 50 years for dealing cocaine and Cockerell was serving 20 years for burglary.

The arrest warrants issued this week were on charges of being felons in possession of firearms and possession of stolen firearms.

Carroll County Sheriff Ben Smith told The Courier-Journal that the men hid in a barn Sunday night at a farm there before attacking two brothers who lived their and a third who stopped by the house.

Smith said Richard Marshall was returning a key to a tractor parked inside the barn Monday morning when the three men jumped him and began beating him with clubs. They tied him up and then stormed the house, where a surprised Keith Marshall, 56, was relaxing in a recliner, Smith said.

Smith said Keith Marshall stopped fighting, realizing he was outnumbered. The inmates bound him, then ransacked the house, taking more than $7,000 in cash, ammunition and the firearms that also include three 9mm handguns.

Smith said a third brother, 50-year-old Barry Marshall, who lives nearby, stopped by the farm to discuss a relative's funeral and was confronted by an escaped convict pointing a weapon at him.

The fugitives tied up Barry Marshall. Smith said Keith Marshall managed to free himself and to untie Barry Marshall, who drove to his home about two miles away to call police and an ambulance.

Richard Marshall, 59, was listed in serious but stable condition at University Hospital in Louisville, where he was flown after the attack. Smith said Marshall was suffering from bleeding around the brain.

Authorities said the brothers who were attacked weren't related to the escaped inmate Christopher Marshall.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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