Authorities find federal fugitive in Knoxville
From Staff Reports
KNOXVILLE — A federal inmate released from the Blount County jail in mid-July was back in custody Tuesday night after authorities said they found the fugitive at a Clinton Highway trailer park.
Dewyatt Allen “Jughead” Hill, 55, was arrested at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday by members of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force, according to a USMS news release.
Hill was found guilty in early July and sentenced in federal court to more than seven decades in prison for multiple armed robberies at area pharmacies.
Deputy U.S. marshals, along with deputies and officers with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Knoxville Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Hill after their investigation led to a single-wide trailer on Clinton Highway, the release said.
Officers said they surrounded the trailer, where they could see Hill inside. He was called out of the trailer and arrested without complication, according to the release.
“Deputy U.S. marshals and local officers with the Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force have been working diligently on this case since the moment we were contacted, following up on dozens of leads and interviewing a multitude of individuals,” U.S. Marshal James T. Fowler said. “I am proud of this group of deputy marshals and local officers for their teamwork and their persistence in locating and apprehending Hill.”
Hill, who has an extensive criminal history, was considered armed and extremely dangerous during the month-and-a-half long manhunt. In one of the robberies Hill was connected with, shots were fired when pharmacy employees did not respond quickly enough to the robbers’ demand for pills, police said.
Hill was mistakenly released from the Blount County jail on July 18, a problem that Blount County Sheriff’s Office has recently attributed to a combination of policy and human error. There have since been several policy changes put in place to prevent another release in the future, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant.
Blount County Sheriff James L. Berrong said he was grateful for the help of all those involved in Hill’s capture.
“I would like to thank the U.S. Marshals Service, Marshal Jim Fowler and the Smoky Mountains Fugitive Task Force for their tireless work in apprehending Dewyatt Allen Hill,” Berrong said in the USMS release.