Mugshot of Donald Hartwell Jr. 

SHELTON - The Mason County Sheriff’s Office hopes to ‘cool the heels’ of a convict who escaped from jail on foot Tuesday morning.

Mason County Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling says he and his colleagues are asking for the public’s help in finding Donald Hartwell Jr. of Shelton. Hartwell Jr. escaped jail custody during a pre-trial hearing in superior court.

After exiting the courthouse, Spurling says Hartwell Jr. ran to the north towards Capitol Hill, the newer part of Shelton. Partnering with Shelton Police, the sheriff’s deputies and officers set up a secured perimeter in the area Alder and 4th St. northward towards Capitol Hill.

Spurling says a K-9 tracked Hartwell Jr. for about a half-mile but the trail went cold into the woods where Hartwell Jr. had disappeared.

The Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s office says Hartwell Jr. has had various charges against him spanning from crimes he allegedly committed from 2017-2019. Crimes include 2nd degree theft, trafficking of stolen property, theft of motor vehicles, burglary and drug charges.

Authorities are actively searching for Hartwell Jr. and law enforcement in Mason County and neighboring counties have been asked to be on the lookout for him. The public is also being asked to provide any tips that would help them locate Hartwell Jr.’s whereabouts.

Hartwell Jr. was unrestrained when he was brought into the courtroom.

iFIBER ONE News is seeking security footage capturing Hartwell Jr.’s escape from custody.

(3) comments

Tom Davis

So, I hear the new court house security contract is up for approval; I think its $161,000, about 12% higher than last year. Maybe we should go to a Walmart type security system, where you have to step around an elderly ‘Greeter’ to get out the door. Thanks for the laugh!

Linda Owens

Maybe it's because of the new law saying your prisoner can't come in restrained. They care more about the prisoner than the safety of guards or other people in the courtroom

Lee Fraser

It was nice that the Shelton city police chief intimated that the escape was possible because the voters did not pass the levy for law enforcement in the recent past.

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