Extradition Hearing: ''Not Without My Wife'' - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/12/05

Extradition Hearing: ''Not Without My Wife''

The married couple accused in a deadly Tennessee courthouse shootout told an Ohio judge Friday they would fight extradition on first-degree murder charges.

Jennifer Forsyth Hyatte, 31, and George Hyatte, 34, appeared separately before a judge in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

George Hyatte, with hands tightly restrained, initially protested the process saying he did not want to fight extradition.

"I'm not going through this every day," he told his lawyer.

"I want to sign, your honor; I want to sign my extradition."

After his attorney explained that his wife was fighting extradition, George Hyatte said, "I'm not going anywhere without her."

Hyatte -- who has escaped from county jails twice before -- was serving a 35-year sentence in Tennessee for aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.

Minutes earlier, Jennifer Hyatte, appeared before the same judge, sporting a black bob hairstyle and tight hand restraints.

She did not show any sign of emotion and did not speak during the hearing.

Her attorney requested that the Tennessee governor issue a warrant, which will delay the extradition process.

The warrant issued by the governor would have to prove Jennifer Hyatte is the same person sought in the shooting death of a corrections officer in Kingston, Tennessee.

The judge denied a request for bond.

The couple will remain in Franklin County jail. The judge scheduled another hearing for September 8.

Hotel capture

The Hyattes gave up Wednesday at a Columbus motel, ending a 36-hour regional manhunt.

Several weapons were found in the couple's hotel room but it was not yet known if the weapon used to shoot the guard was among them, according to Mark Gwyn, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Taxi driver Mike Wagers said he picked up the couple in suburban Cincinnati -- about 100 miles away -- and drove them to Columbus.

Kundan Desai, manager of America's Best Value Inn, said Wagers booked the couple a room using his name and paying in cash.

Acting on Wagers' tip, U.S. Marshal John Bolen said investigators surrounded the motel where the couple surrendered peacefully.

Police said Jennifer Hyatte had suffered a gunshot wound to one of her legs in Tuesday's escape and was treated at a Columbus hospital and released to authorities.

George Hyatte, who police said escaped while wearing handcuffs and leg irons, was no longer shackled when police arrested him at the motel, TBI Director Mark Gwyn said.

Before authorities converged on the Columbus motel, police had arrived at another motel outside Cincinnati in Erlanger, Kentucky, where the couple was thought to be staying.

"They had just left probably minutes prior to the entry to the rooms," Gwyn said.

Police searched the motel and confiscated a gold van that the couple was thought to have used to leave Kingston.

The deadly courthouse incident in Tennessee began about 10 a.m. Tuesday as guards escorted George Hyatte from the Roane Country Courthouse following a proceeding on an armed robbery charge, authorities said.

As the armed officers prepared to put Hyatte into a van, "a dark-colored SUV appeared behind the van," Kingston Police Chief Jim Washam said. "Mr. Hyatte hollered, 'Shoot 'em!'

"She opened fire on the officers, hitting one in the abdomen," he said.

Officer Larry "Porky" Harris fired a shot, but the SUV sped off, stopping only to pick up Hyatte, a witness said.

Guard Wayne "Cotton" Morgan, 56, was taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, where he died at 11:10 a.m., a hospital spokeswoman said.

A 28-year veteran of the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Morgan was married and had two children, said Amanda Sluss, a department spokeswoman.

A closed military funeral will take place Friday for Morgan, who served in the Vietnam War.

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