Travis L. Davis

Travis L. Davis, who became known for escaping from the Pettis County Jail last spring, has been sentenced on first-degree assault and escape charges. 

Davis was sentenced to two years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for felony escape from confinement and six years for felony first-degree assault. The charges will run consecutively with any other sentence.

“He pled guilty to the assault,” Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Phillip Sawyer said. “He got six years on that and then he got a consecutive two years for his escape from confinement. So eight years total and they run consecutive to each other and consecutive to any other sentence.”

According to Sawyer, witness issues developed in the assault case Davis was initially being held on, which slightly affected the case. 

“As far as the underlying charge that he was being held on, we generally deal with something similar to that a couple times a year…” Sawyer explained. “I would say that this is probably a somewhat consistent disposition. We ended up with some witness issues that affected it. It is probably a slightly smaller sentence than I would have anticipated when the case began but as the case drug out, some witness issues began to develop... 

“His guilty plea was to a case that I was certain the facts supported a conviction on. The disposition was something that both sides agreed to based on some witness issues that had arisen so that we could get it pled before the trial date.”

While Davis escaping added an additional charge to his sentence and garnered a lot of attention, the assault case is similar to other ones Sawyer sees. 

“I understand that it caught a lot of attention because he escaped and he was on the run for a fairly significant amount of time, his name plastered all over the place and he made it to a different state,” Sawyer said. “That obviously garners a lot of attention from everybody but from the standpoint of what kind of case it was (the assault case), it was a fairly normal case. There was nothing that made it any more significant than other cases of this nature.”

Davis was initially arrested Feb. 13, according to a Sedalia Police Department news release, after SPD received a tip that Davis was in an apartment in the 400 block of Buckner Court. Davis had a felony parole warrant and was wanted for felony charges of resisting arrest.

Officers were voluntarily let into the apartment to arrest Davis, but he fled into a bedroom and locked the door. Inside, he held a woman and toddler-aged boy, threatening to harm the victims with a gun. Officers negotiated with Davis over the next two hours for the release of the child and woman and the child was released. Officers later took advantage of an opportunity to arrest Davis and freed the woman. Davis resisted arrest but was taken into custody. Sedalia Police Chief Matt Wirt said they did not find a gun or weapon.

Davis was being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond at the Pettis County Jail when he escaped March 11 by kicking out cinder blocks from a wall that gave him access to the facility’s maintenance area, and he then escaped from that area. 

Davis then led authorities on a nine-day, two-state manhunt. He was apprehended March 13 by law enforcement in Heavener, Oklahoma, after Heavener Police officers were called to a location by a woman claiming to be a kidnapping victim. She told officers she had been kidnapped and forced to drive at gunpoint. When they stopped at the gas station Davis fell asleep and she fled the car to get help.

When officers made contact with Davis, he attempted to flee but was caught by officers who handcuffed Davis and placed him in the backseat of a HPD vehicle. Davis then got his cuffs in front of him, got through the window partition in the police vehicle, and stole the car while police were interviewing witnesses. Davis made it two miles before crashing the car and fleeing. 

Davis then returned to Sedalia where he was arrested by SPD March 19 after receiving a call from a citizen believing Davis was in a detached garage at a residence in the 2100 block of East Seventh Street. SPD officers found Davis hiding in an attic space. Davis attempted to get away from the officers, according to Wirt, but officers were able to apprehend him and handcuff him quickly. He was transported to Bothwell Regional Health Center where he was found fit for confinement. He was then taken to the Pettis County Jail where he was kept in solitary confinement. 

Sawyer said he had not been notified of any pending holds against Davis and is uncertain what charges are pending from Oklahoma. Davis will be taken to the Missouri Department of Corrections and then it will be up to Oklahoma to seek transfer upon his release to Oklahoma, he said.

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