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Man jailed after escaping from custody in courtroom

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By Lisa King

Panic broke out in the courthouse Tuesday morning after a man pushed a bailiff aside and fled before he could be handcuffed.

Brandon Davis, 26, of Taylorsville, is now lodged in the Shelby County Detention Center after the escape attempt, according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Davis was in Shelby Circuit Court for probation violation, according to sheriff's detective Jason Rice.

"He was in court today to decide if he had broken his probation, and evidently the judge decided that he had, therefore sentencing him to serve the original sentence of five years," Rice said.

Davis was on the loose for several hours before turning himself in to authorities.

Chief Deputy Gene Witt said that, thankfully, no one was injured when Davis fled the courtroom.

"He jerked away from the bailiff and jumped the rail on the back and ran out," Witt said.

Rice said that Davis was able to evade officers for so long because even though he fled on foot, he got into a car outside the courthouse.

"He was quickly picked up by another person and taken from this area," Rice said. "I don't think it was planned, but we do believe that the person that picked him up was with him in the courtroom."

Davis's original charges occurred May 26, 2003, in Shelby County, when, according to the indictment, he struck Shawn Way in the head with a baseball bat and destroyed property worth $1,000 belonging to Kiyomi Dorgan. The indictment states that Davis committed the offense of first-degree assault "by means of a deadly weapon...which created a grave risk of death."

The indictment also charged Davis with first-degree criminal mischief for the damage to Dorgan's property.

After that incident, Davis was placed on probation. According to a Shelby grand jury indictment handed down in February 2008, Davis violated the terms of his probation by receiving a new felony arrest in Jefferson County on Jan. 31, 2008, on charges of unlawful access to a computer, first degree, fraudulent use of a credit card, theft of identity, and theft by unlawful taking under $300. The indictment adds that Davis also failed to report the arrest within 72 hours, failed to receive substance abuse assessment and failed to report as directed.

Witt said deputies urged Davis to turn himself in.

Davis has incurred three additional charges from fleeing the courtroom: second-degree escape, resisting arrest and fleeing and evading police.

His bond had not yet been set at the time the Sentinel-News went to press. His arraignment date is also yet to be set.