SLED Working to Find Out How Escapee Got Car

5:25 PM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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Jason Mark Carter (Image: Willamson County, TN Jail)

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - State Law Enforcement Division agents are working to determine how a man who escaped from a Columbia mental health facility was able to buy a car.

Jason Mark Carter, 39, was found by Tennessee state troopers Friday morning in Fairview, Tennessee, a town just off Interstate 40 near Nashville. A day earlier, the Department of Mental Health says he drove away from a Farrow Road facility in a stolen state vehicle. Previous Coverage: Killer Who Escaped Mental Health Facility Caught

SLED agents say they developed information that Carter had switched vehicles.

"Our understanding is there were paper tags on the vehicle," SLED spokesman Thom Berry said. "There were no permanent tags assigned to the vehicle as of yet so it appears from the investigation so far that the car had just recently been purchased."

How he was able to purchase that vehicle is not yet known.

Agents say they were able to find him to Tennessee by tracking a cell phone that he was using. That led them to the hotel room where he was staying in.

Tennessee troopers have charged him with possession of stolen property and being a fugitive from justice. Carter is set to have a court hearing on January 16th on those charges.

SLED agents, though, are working to get him back here sooner.

"Paperwork is actually underway to try to get Mr. Carter back to South Carolina," Berry said. "The decision will ultimately be his as to whether or not he choose to fight it."

Berry said if Carter doesn't fight extradition, he could be back in our state by next week.

As far as South Carolina charges, Berry says the Department of Mental Health will determine if those are necessary, since he's under their custody. 

Carter was charged with the 2006 killings of his mother and stepfather. A judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity in 2009, and committed him to the mental facility.

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