A bench warrant was issued Jan. 21 for a 34-year-old Sallisaw man who is charged with escaping from the Department of Corrections. Jerod Palmer is accused of removing his electronic monitoring device and running from a Drug Court termination hearing on Dec. 15. According to the investigator's report, Palmer was ordered into custody on Dec. 8 while in a courtroom at the Sequoyah County Courthouse in Sallisaw. The investigator reports what happened next: "Palmer had appeared in front of Judge Dennis Sprouse on this date due to Palmer going to be terminated from Drug Court immediately. Judge Sprouse ordered Palmer to be taken into custody...at the time Palmer was instructed to sit in the juror's box in Judge Sprouse's courtroom and wait being transported to the Sequoyah County Jail for booking...Palmer complied and sat down in the juror's box...Drug Court Supervision Officer Joseph Hatfield was ordered to go down to the Sequoyah County Jail to get a detention officer to transport Palmer to the jail. Edwards stated Palmer was acting very nervous, bending over and appeared to be doing something to his ankle monitor that he was required to wear. Edwards said about two minutes had passed when Hatfield had left the courtroom, when Palmer jumped over the jury box and ran out of the courtroom. Judge Sprouse told Edwards to contact Jerry Sizemore with Oklahoma Probation and Parole to notify him that Palmer had escaped custody." The report says the GPS ankle monitor, with a broken strap, was found about 20 minutes later in front of the courthouse.
Palmer's court records indicate he was found guilty in 2014 of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, maintaining place for keeping/selling controlled substances and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and intimidation of a witness.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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