Authorities say a man who escaped from the McClain County Courthouse Tuesday evening has been captured.
Shelby Dwaine Maier, 48, ran away around 6:30 p.m., according to the McClain County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said a jury had just convicted Maier of child abuse by injury, and that he was being escorted to jail when he escaped. The escape was caught on courthouse security footage.
“Our deputy took him into custody, put him on an elevator to take him down to jail. Before the elevator door was closed, the suspect pushed passed our deputy, and was able to run out of the courthouse,” Lt. Christopher Grace of the McClain County Sheriff’s Office said.
In May of 2017, The Purcell Police Department received a report that Maier was allegedly abusing his own children.
Five kids were said to have been with him at the home.
Court documents state medical staff and an officer "observed bruises on each child's body"
Some of the young victims told investigators that when they "do not do right they get whipped by their father, Dwaine."
Maier had bonded out of jail prior to the verdict. So, when he was taken from the court Tuesday afternoon, he had not been placed in shackles.
Deputies said they are now learning his escape might have been planned.
“We found out later through his son that had visited with him several days prior, that the escape was on his mind. He thought he was facing up to 20 years and said he did not want to do that long in prison,” Lt. Grace said.
Soon after the escape, deputies attempted to track down Maier's girlfriend, Lisa Snowden.
They asked for her help in the case but soon discovered she also had a few warrants.
The couple was found about four hours later at a home just a mile away from the courthouse, according to investigators.
Three others were also inside.
“Those three others were later released after we interviewed them. Girlfriend said, ‘I snuck him into the house, they didn't know he was there,” Lt. Grace said.
Deputies say Maier will now face a new charge of escape.
Snowden was taken in on a complaint of harboring a fugitive.