Escapee caught while buying potato chips

Tuesday, September 16th 2008, 11:01 am

By: News 9


CHANDLER, Okla. -- A convict who escaped from the Lincoln County Jail on Monday was taken into custody Tuesday morning when he went to buy a snack, officials said.

Michael Washburn, 28, escaped from the Lincoln County Jail on Monday during a meeting with his attorney. Washburn recently was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting with intent to kill.

He was taken into custody at about 10 a.m. Tuesday when he walked into a Maverick Mini Mart in Chandler, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown said.  

Authorities had surrounded a Chandler neighborhood Monday evening and throughout Tuesday morning as they waited for Washburn to surface. Residents called authorities when they saw Washburn walking across the town's main street toward the store, troopers said.

Inside the store, customer Jeromy Clayton and cashier Mildred Coppola were talking about the manhunt. They saw Washburn walk in and said hello, but didn't think he matched the person in the wanted posted hanging by the door.

"I didn't give it two thoughts, we were standing at the counter discussing the matter, you know about how crazy it was that the guy had been out and that nobody had caught him," Clayton said. "That conversation was going on while he was browsing for potato chips."

Their conversation soon was interrupted by state troopers who stormed into the store to arrest Washburn.

"Family members, they were cooperating; they wanted us to get him into custody unharmed," Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Derek Sosbee said.

Officials said he did not resist and was taken back to the Lincoln County Jail.

"I feel relieved and feel good, because I know being out there, anything could have happened to him because he has this mental problem and he needs on his medication," Michael's mother Joy Washburn said.

The District Attorney's office said in spite of a new fugitive new charge, he's being transferred to a state prison Wednesday.

Chandler is about 30 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.


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