Captured escapee receives 18-month sentence

WARREN — A Howland man who escaped last fall from a transport van driving to an alternative sentencing facility was given an 18-month prison sentence this week for his role in the flight.

David M. Wolcott, 48, of 4206 Aleesa Drive SE, pleaded guilty to escape Tuesday before Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew D. Logan, who also sentenced Wolcott to a six-month concurrent prison term on a cocaine possession conviction.

Wolcott was a drug court candidate serving at the Northeast Ohio Alternative Program off Pine Street SE when he was transported by van Sept. 21, 2019, to St. Joseph Warren Hospital. According to Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office reports, Wolcott was being taken back to NEOCAP from the hospital about 8:30 p.m. when he put the van’s window down and opened the door from the outside and “took off running south” from the area of Pine Avenue and South Street, about a half-block west of the NEOCAP facility.

The report states Wolcott was not in any restraints and the child locks in the van were functioning but he was still able to open the door from the outside. Authorities searched the woods surrounding the NEOCAP facility with a police dog, but they were unable to find Wolcott that night.

Jail reports show Wolcott was placed into custody Oct. 15 after he was charged Oct. 2 with escape, a third-degree felony.

Court records show Wolcott’s other case involved a fifth-degree possession of cocaine to which he pleaded guilty in late August through a drug court arrangement. However, at a hearing on Sept. 4, it was learned that Wolcott failed to report to drug court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.