Billy Reed Fletcher. SLED. Victor Birchfield.
Crime & Courts

KKK-Affiliated Fugitive Remains At Large After Escaping Custody

Tennessee inmate absconds to South Carolina; linked to disappearance of aircraft mechanic.

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The search continues for a Tennessee fugitive with purported affiliations to the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) and Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC), according to agents of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

At 7:07 a.m. GMT on June 20, 2024, Billy Reed Fletcher, 43, absconded from the Carter County Detention Center in Elizabethton, TN, while performing manual labor as a trustee of the jail, according to deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). 

Volunteer State court records have since revealed that Fletcher’s incarceration was the result of a domestic aggravated assault, attempted aggravated burglary and attempted kidnapping of his estranged wife in Johnson County on or about November 24, 2017. 

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“CERTIFIED WHITE BOY …”

Billy Reed Fletcher. SLED. Victor Birchfield.
Billy Reed Fletcher. (Facebook)

“Bye, you sorry f****** cunts,” wrote Fletcher approximately one year prior to the incident on Facebook. “Hope your husbands find out you f*** n****** and anything else that walks. All of you better watch ur backs ‘cause you f*** with me, I f*** back. Cheating f****** s**** (sic).”

Come April 18, 2019, Tennessee Criminal Court Judge Stacey Street ordered Fletcher to serve three years on supervised probation after pleading guilty to the attempted burglary in exchange for having his attempted aggravated burglary and attempted kidnapping charges dismissed. 

Four months later, the commercial truck driver geotagged his semi-trailer in Elk City, Oklahoma, before taking to Facebook and posting: “YOU CAN’T THROW ME TO THE WOLVES BECAUSE I LEAD MY PACKS AND OTHER PACKS NO BETTER (sic).”

The Harley-Davidson enthusiast was thereupon charged with assault and aggravated assault for an indeterminate incident in January 2020. By springtime, he was accused of violating his aforementioned probation before appearing before Judge Street for new criminal charges.

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After being granted a $15,000 release on one’s own recognizance (ROR) bond in April 2020, Fletcher was issued a bench warrant for failing to appear in court at 9:00 a.m. GMT on July 12, 2021. During this timeframe, he appears to have been modifying motorcycles in Butler, TN.

Come September 30, 2021, Fletcher’s felonious assault charge was dismissed after he pleaded guilty to his misdemeanor assault before Judge Street. He was subsequently sentenced to 30 days in jail before violating the conditions of his parole for a second time in August 2023.

Ultimately, on December 18, 2023, Judge Street revoked Fletcher’s probation and ordered the repeat offender to serve his original three-year sentence for the aggravated assault, attempted aggravated burglary and attempted kidnapping charge from six years earlier. 

Six months later, CCSO issued a warrant for Fletcher’s escape.

Since walking away from the Carter County Detention Center on June 20, 2024, CCSO has connected Fletcher to the disappearance of Victor Birchfield, 61, who was announced missing by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) on Saturday, June 22, 2024.

According to TBI, Birchfield was last seen in Elizabethton on the evening of June 19, 2024. His daughter, Tiffany Cole, maintains that his 2003 Toyota 4Runner was recorded in Clemson, S.C., along with two debit card transactions within the evening of Fletcher’s escape. 

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“WE DIDN’T HAVE THE FACTS …”

Billy Reed Fletcher. SLED. Victor Birchfield.
Billy Reed Fletcher; Victor Birchfield. (SLED/TBI)

Come Tuesday, July 2, 2024 – some thirteen days after Fletcher and Birchfield vanished from the Volunteer State – Carter County Sheriff Mike Fraley confirmed that both cases were related. This — nine days after Fletcher was recorded on White Horse Road in Greenville County, S.C.

“At the time, we didn’t have the facts,” said sheriff Farley during a televised press conference on Tuesday. “We were working separate cases at the time. But without divulging too much information, there’s information that crosses over that ties the two together.”

SLED has since released additional photographs of Fletcher from his only recorded sighting on Monday, June 24. According to Cole, the fugitive was wearing her father’s sunglasses while inside a Hot Spot Convenience Store on West Blue Ridge Drive in Greenville, S.C. 

“That Billy Fletcher was a violent offender,” Cole told WCBD-TV on Wednesday, July 3. “His prior charges included kidnapping, burglary, armed burglary and assault. This man had no business being outside of the jail on a work detail to start with … It makes me angry.”

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While it remains unclear why Fletcher absconded to the Carolinas, his Facebook has since revealed a familiarity with the region. From 2016 to 2018, he geotagged himself across Ashville, Boone, Waynesville, and Black Mountain, North Carolina.

He furthermore geotagged himself at Long John Silver’s on White Horse Road in Greenville, S.C., on or about June 1, 2016. Come June 20, 2021, he publicized his support for the HAMC Greenville, S.C., chapter during a status update on Facebook. 

“These are real men,” wrote Fletcher at that time. “[They] help and respect our community and state. Helping with charities, veterans, the homeless and the sick while standing up for our country … Support your local 81MC red and white (sic).”

As of publishing, neither Fletcher nor Birchfield have been located. 

SLED describes Fletcher as 6’2″ and approximately 230 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. TBI describes Birchfield as 5’6″ and approximately 170 pounds with hazel eyes and grey hair. His Toyota 4Runner was located by authorities in Pickens, S.C., according to Cole.

South Carolinians with information on either individual are urged to contact SLED by calling (803) 737-9000 or emailing tips@sled.sc.gov. Tennesseans with information are urged to contact CCSO at 423-542-1845 or TBI at 800-824-3463.

This story may be updated.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Andrew Fancher (Travis Bell)

Andrew Fancher is a Lone Star Emmy award-winning journalist from Dallas, Texas. Cut from a bloodline of outlaws and lawmen alike, he was the first of his family to graduate college which was accomplished with honors. Got a story idea or news tip for Andy? Email him directly and connect with him socially across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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2 comments

Jeff Mattox Top fan July 4, 2024 at 7:53 am

This is a prime example why we need a surveillance state. If the state had tools like facial recognition, cell phone monitoring, social media monitors, and tracking chips embedded in every American they could keep us safe from every sort of low life except politicians and the few bad apples within the enforcers.
When will we realize that if we don’t have anything to hide we should welcome the police state so it may keep us safe from every scary thing out there?

Reply
Wasntme Top fan July 6, 2024 at 12:25 am

Are you serious? Wow .no chip put in my body…nope!

Reply

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