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JBCC escapee sentenced to 15 years in federal prison

Apr. 3—An inmate who escaped from a local prison in 2021 was sentenced to federal prison for an indictment stemming from the escape.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Preston Shawn Whittington, 28, of Waurika, Oklahoma, was sentenced to a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for carjacking.

Whittington pleaded guilty on May 31, 2023, to the charge, with charges of escape from penal institution in Indian Country, assault with intent to commit a felony in Indian Country, kidnapping in Indian Country, and robbery in Indian Country were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Similar charges were dismissed in April 2023 due to the state of Oklahoma lacking jurisdiction in the matter.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, McAlester police officers responded around 6 p.m. March 30 to JBCC for a report of a robbery.

When officers arrived, they spoke with a correctional officer that said she was walking to her car when she saw an inmate, later identified as Whittington, walking toward her, the affidavit states.

The correctional officer told police she asked Whittington what he was doing, and he replied he was looking for his beanie, before he opened the car door.

The affidavit states the woman said she began screaming at Whittington that he could not get in her vehicle and the inmate grabbed a radio that was in the correctional officer's hand and began to hit the officer multiple times in the head.

According to the affidavit, Whittington told the correctional officer he had a knife and for her to get into the passenger seat of her vehicle.

The correctional officer said he began to drive and when the vehicle got close to the gate of the prison, she jumped out of the vehicle with Whittington stopping the vehicle and acting like he was going to get the officer again before driving away, the affidavit states.

According to the police report, the correctional officer was treated at the McAlester Regional Health Center for bumps and bruises before being released.

The woman told officers she feared for her life and thought she was going to be killed, the affidavit states.

Whitting was taken into custody on March 31, 2021, at a Walmart in Wichita Falls, Texas after leading police on two separate pursuits.

ODOC records show Whittingham was serving multiple sentences out of Stephens County Court for kidnapping, burglary, and contributing to the delinquency of minors.