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Archive for Saturday, August 13, 2005

Couple accused in guard’s death refuse quick extradition

August 13, 2005

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— The couple accused of killing a Tennessee corrections officer in a daring escape objected Friday to being sent back to the state to face charges. At a hearing, the wife appeared dazed and the husband declared, "I don't want to leave without her."

In Tennessee, meanwhile, more than 1,000 people attended a funeral for the guard.

George and Jennifer Hyatte were arrested Wednesday night without a struggle at a Columbus motel after a cab driver tipped off authorities that he had driven them there. The tip ended a manhunt that began Tuesday with the shooting outside a courthouse in Kingston, Tenn.

George Hyatte, 34, seemed prepared to waive his right to challenge extradition, but when his attorney leaned in and explained that Jennifer Hyatte had decided to fight extradition, he shook his head and argued briefly with his attorney.

"I don't want to leave without her," Hyatte said.

His wife had been in court a few minutes earlier. Jennifer Hyatte appeared dazed and didn't talk during the hearing.

Her attorney, John Sproat, said later Friday that the extradition challenge is a precaution he advised her to take because of the severity of the charge.

Jennifer Hyatte, 31, a nurse with no criminal record, is accused of ambushing two prison guards as they were leading her husband from the courthouse where he had just pleaded guilty to robbery. Guard Wayne "Cotton" Morgan was fatally shot before the couple sped away.

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