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Ohio Escapee Kills Self Rather than Give up to Authorities

32-year-old Ohio man, Branden Lee Powell, who escaped custody, is now dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound. Image-Paulding County Sheriff's office

32-year-old Ohio man, Branden Lee Powell, who escaped custody, is now dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound. Image-Paulding County Sheriff’s office

An Ohio man, who was jailed after being indicted for felony rape, was arrested, hospitalized, then escaped,  is now dead by his own hand, authorities in Ohio report.

32-year-old Branden Lee Powell, of Antwerp, Ohio, who was arrested on rape charges on July 8th, escaped from a transport van on Friday while he was being transported from a Toledo psychiatric hospital back to the Paulding County Jail. He had been admitted to the hospital on July 13th, but had been released on Friday to return to incarceration.

According to Sheriffs in Ohio, Powell had been taken to the hospital after becoming suicidal and cutting his own throat with a razor while in jail. On the  return trip, Powell, in full restraints, including restraint belt, leg shackles, and cuffs, jumped over the seats in the van, and placed the deputy, who was driving the vehicle, in a headlock. 

Powell’s actions caused the van to crash into the ditch. Powell took control of the deputy’s .40 caliber pistol and demanded to be released. Once released, Powell handcuffed the deputy to the steering wheel, ripped out the radio and fled the scene.

Powell’s escape resulted in a massive interstate manhunt for the escapee. Local,state and federal authorities took up the search. Powell would be located at his parents house at approximately 6 pm on Friday  in the residence’s basement crawl space. 

It was as officers were trying to get Powell to give himself up, that three hours later, Powell shot and killed himself.