Inmates get smokes, free hostage

March 1, 2007 at 8:22 AM

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn., March 1 (UPI) -- Inmates who held a guard hostage in Tennessee weren't looking to escape -- they just needed a smoke and once they got it, they returned to their cells.

The maximum-security inmates at the smoke-free Northeast Correctional Facility in Mountain City, Tenn., overpowered a guard and held him hostage for about seven hours before prison officials worked out the deal, Warden Howard Carlton told the Kingsport (Tenn.) News.

"As the night progressed, they started saying, 'Look, we'll give up if you let us have some tobacco. If you do that, we'll go back to our cell," Carlton told the newspaper. "They got them some cigarettes, they smoked them and went back to their cell and locked themselves back in."

Billy Grubb, 32, is serving life without parole for first-degree murder. Bradley Johnson, 25, is serving a 25-year to life sentence for second-degree murder, the New reported. Both were transferred to other prisons and charges are pending over Tuesday's incident, the newspaper reported.

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