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Canter still on loose one month since courthouse escape

By Tate Davis
Freelance Writer

It has been nearly one month since 32-year-old Donald Malaki Canter escaped from the Johnson County Courthouse while in custody en route to appear before Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street.
Canter faces numerous charges, apparently including Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Robbery, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (Felony), Possession of a Firearm While
in Commission of a Felony,
Possession of Schedule VI Drugs for Resale, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Violation of Probation.
Canter escaping custody during criminal court proceedings was as surprising as the lack of official notification of the incident to the local media for assistance, alerting the community through a press release or an official Media Alert.
In marked contrast, the agency published an official request for assistance locating a missing person that was widely disseminated through public and media channels on December 16. Within the day, that subject had been located by authorities.
When questioned about the status of Cantor’s case for this article, County Attorney Perry Stout said, “The Sheriff is making every effort to return Mr. Canter to custody to face a hearing on these charges.”
Following Johnson County Sheriff Eddie Tester contacted the Tomahawk and said, “We have some leads where Canter is. It seems the escape was planned. A car was waiting on him. He just took off [and] jumped in the car. We have a suspicion on who the driver of the car was.”
A county employee who did not wish to be identified brought Canter’s escape to the attention of The Tomahawk and raised questions regarding courthouse security. That person claims Canter’s escape is merely one of several recent incidents involving apparent security lapses.
However, Tester emphasized that “Security measures at the courthouse are the same as always.” He added, “Other agencies are involved now, but the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is following up on all the leads.”
Tennessee Department of Correction online records have Canter listed on “inactive” status with a “sentence end date” of “September 9, 2019.”