• Former Burke County hospital employee accused of helping mental patient escape

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    MORGANTON, N.C. - A former employee at Broughton Hospital is accused of helping a mental patient escape.

    Officials said Jamie Lynn Patton was arrested after she checked into the Apple Bottom Motel in Black Mountain with her patient Joey Clipse.

    According to court documents, Patton became a suspect after her co-workers said she had an unusually friendly relationship with Clipse.

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    Police went through her cellphone records and determined she had called the motel numerous times after Clipse escaped, according to a search warrant.

    She also called the unit at the hospital where he was housed six times the night he disappeared.

    Peter Patel showed us his ledger at the Apple Blossom Motel in Black Mountain, where authorities said Patton checked in with Clipse.

    The pair spent four days at the roadside motel.

    (Clipse)

    Hotel workers told Channel 9 the couple kept to themselves.

    "They were pretty normal. Everything was pretty cool. If I had a problem with them, I’d kick them out or call police,” said motel employee George Percival.

    Patel said his employees had no idea the pair was wanted.

    “We don’t know who they are; to me, everybody who comes here is either a lady or a gentleman. We only find out things afterwards,” he said.

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    Deputies said Clipse was sent to the facility after it was determined he was incapable of standing trial for assaulting deputies in both Tennessee and North Carolina during a high-speed chase.

    Channel 9 called the hospital Monday and learned people in the wing where Clipse was being held are not allowed to leave on their own.

    Clipse was arrested this weekend in Fairfax, Virginia.

    Patton is charged with harboring a fugitive.

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