Search continues for escaped inmate

Published 3:11 pm Friday, February 15, 2019

The search for an escapee from the Bell County Jail stretched into a second day as authorities tried to recapture 37-year-old Rocky Howerton.

Howerton is accused of jumping out of a van while on work detail Thursday afternoon.

Middlesboro authorities have asked for help from the public to let them know if anyone sees Howerton. They ask that you call 911 or local law enforcement if you see him.

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Howerton is 5’6” and weighs about 150 pounds. He has black hair and had a black goatee at the time of the escape.

Bell County Jailer Gary Ferguson has said Howerton is most likely in the Middlesboro area and is not considered to be a danger to anyone.

Howerton was in jail for failing to comply with a court order and was only scheduled to spend up to 30 days incarcerated. Ferguson said it’s hard to understand why anyone would escape while facing such a short sentence.

Now, however, Howerton faces a felony escape charge, which could add significant time to his current sentence.