TISHOMINGO, Okla. — A man who was arrested for causing a fatal crash during a three-county police pursuit last year escaped from jail just hours before he was to be sentenced for the crime.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office identified the escapee as Shawn Michael Baumgardner, 33.
“Please do not approach this person,” authorities said in a Facebook appeal. “Call 911 with anyone matching this description … Consider this subject dangerous as a precaution.”
Sheriff Gary Dodd said a preliminary investigation found that Baumgardner broke through a cement wall in his cell which led to a plumbing area. He then escaped through a fire door which cannot be locked from the inside.
“Right now, our focus is getting him back into custody and back here to Johnston County and answer for the charges and be sentenced for first-degree murder,” Dodd said. “I will bring the subject back, and how he comes back? It’s up to him. If he wants to surrender peacefully, then that’s fine, but if not we will play that game, too.”
Baumgardner is described as a white male, 6′-1″ tall, 242 lbs., with blue eyes and balding/blond hair. Deputies are working with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, Lighthorse Police and the US Marshals task force to locate the fugitive.
Tishomingo High School was placed on a “soft lockdown” as a precaution and students were provided with a photograph of the escapee.
Baumgardner was arrested on October 22, 2020 after leading police on a high-speed pursuit that began in Durant, continued into Atoka County and then ended in Johnston County.
Durant police said Baumgardner, driving a stolen vehicle, crashed into a car in Coleman, Oklahoma, killing its driver, Glen Trammell, and leaving his passenger critically injured.
According to court records, Baumgardner pleaded guilty to murder earlier this month. Sentencing was set for Thursday.
If you have information on the whereabouts of Baumgardner contact 911 immediately, the last known address for this subject was in Kingston, Oklahoma.