NJ Man Charged With Trying to Help Tenn. Death Row Inmate Escape

Christa Gail Pike was 20 when she was sentenced to death in 1996 for the slaying of a fellow Knoxville Job Corps student.

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012  |  Updated 3:44 PM EDT
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Authorities in Tennessee say two people, including a New Jersey man, have been arrested in a plot to break out Tennessee's lone female death row inmate.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday there was no imminent danger of an escape by Christa Gail Pike, who was 20 when she was sentenced to death in 1996 for the slaying of a fellow Knoxville Job Corps student.      

New Jersey State Police on Monday arrested 34-year-old Donald Kohut of Flemington, N.J., who has frequently visited Pike in prison.

He was charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit escape. It wasn't known if he had an attorney.     
A former correctional officer at the Tennessee Prison for Women, 23-year-old Justin Heflin, was arrested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and charged with bribery, conspiracy to commit escape and facilitation to commit escape.

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