Escaped Ohio Prisoner Found Dead in Parents' Crawl Space

Branden Lee Powell, 32, escaped from a transport van on Friday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 8, 2017 7:27 AM CDT
Escaped Ohio Prisoner Found Dead in Parents' Crawl Space
This undated image provide by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office shows Branden Powell.   (Paulding County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

A rape suspect who overpowered an Ohio sheriff's deputy to escape a transport van has killed himself during a police standoff, ending a manhunt. Paulding County authorities say 32-year-old Branden Lee Powell shot himself Monday night at his parents' home near Antwerp, about 70 miles southwest of Toledo. Authorities say Powell was in a crawl space and shot himself as officers were trying to persuade him to surrender, reports the AP.

Investigators say Powell had stolen a gun from a deputy he overpowered during a Friday trip from a psychiatric hospital to jail. Powell jumped over a seat wearing leg shackles and handcuffs and put the deputy in a headlock, causing the van to crash. Authorities say Powell forced the deputy to remove the restraints and handcuffed the officer to the steering wheel before taking off. WPTA 21 reports Powell had previously attempted to cut his own throat while in jail and underwent surgery as a result. In a statement, Sheriff Jason Landers says, "While this is not the outcome law enforcement had hoped for, law enforcement hopes the community can rest knowing this armed dangerous individual is no longer a danger to the community." (More escaped criminal stories.)

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