UPDATE: Authorities arrest inmate accidentally released from jail

Dearick Stokes
Dearick Stokes

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A convicted murderer who was accidentally released from the Shelby County Jail was captured by authorities Wednesday evening.

Dearick Stokes was arrested at the Relax Inn, located in the 5200 block of South Third.

Steve Shular of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department said sheriff's deputies and officers with the U.S. Marshal's Task Force tracked Stokes to room 117 at the motel.  When he refused to open the door, deputies and officers forced their way inside, where they found Stokes alone and unarmed.

Stokes first gave authorities the slip in February, when minutes before a jury found him guilty of murder, Stokes asked to go to the bathroom and never returned to the courtroom.  He was later arrested.

Then, last Thursday, he was released by mistake from the Shelby County Jail.  Since then, a massive manhunt has been underway to find and capture him.  Wednesday, he was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Top 10 Most Wanted fugitives list.

Stokes was found guilty for the 2008 shooting of Bryan Hatchet, 29, who was killed during a robbery attempt.

Also Wednesday, Deputies also arrested Stokes' brother and father for helping to hide him.  Stokes' brother, Bobby Partee, 25, and Stokes' father, Jake Stokes, were charged for Accessory After the Fact To Wit First Degree Murder and False Reporting.

"The brother certainly led us to the point," Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell said Wednesday.

Luttrell said Partee showed up at 201 Poplar to complain that police were harassing him about his brother.  Four hours later, Partee told them Stokes was staying at the Relax Inn on South Third.

Partee and Dearick's father, Jake Stokes, are accused of providing Dearick with transportation, medical aid, and shelter after they were informed of his status as a wanted man.

According to police, before he was caught at the Relax Inn, Stokes stayed at the Quality Inn on Brooks Road.  Investigators said surveillance video shows Jake and Partee pick up Dearick from outside his room on Tuesday.  By phone, the hotel manager said he turned everything over to police.

Thursday, Dearick Stokes was in jail, awaiting transfer to state prison on a life sentence.  Meanwhile, his dad and brother were both in jail on $250,000 bond.  Also still in jail is Brandon Cox, the man accused of helping Stokes avoid capture the first time he walked out of 201 Poplar back in February. Cox is being held on $10,000 bond.

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