Man given 8 years in escape

Edinburgh resident blamed actions on drugs

The Edinburgh man who prompted a city-wide emergency notification after escaping from police a year ago has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

That’s six months short of the maximum sentence Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Jim Worton could have imposed for Dustin A. Evans for his 17th adult criminal conviction.

It took a 12-person jury one hour to find the 27-year-old defendant guilty of escape and unlawful possession of a syringe on Oct. 4.

During this week’s sentencing, Evans blamed his actions on a drug addiction and asked the judge for leniency to avoid a financial hardship on his fiancée and four children, who reside in Franklin.

“I feel for the children and your fiancée, but the hardship was created by the actions of the defendant — and nobody else,” Worton said.

Although Evans — who did not testify during his own trial — admitted using heroin at least four times in the past, he also testified that he had been under the influence of methamphetamine when a Nov. 16, 2015, search by Edinburgh police showed he was carrying both methamphetamine and paraphernalia.

Evans was approached that day after Edinburgh officers learned he was wanted on a Scott County warrant for possession of drug precursors, Edinburgh Police Chief David Mann said.

After officers discovered he was carrying methamphetamine and paraphernalia, Edinburgh officer Rana Bostock drove Evans to the Bartholomew County Jail, Mann said.

However, jail officials asked that he first be examined medically at Columbus Regional Hospital because it was believed the suspect had ingested narcotics, the police chief said.

After being released from the hospital, Bostock was driving Evans back to jail on the morning of Nov. 17 when the escape occurred, Mann said.

She allowed him out of her police car near Eighth Street and Central Avenue in Columbus after Evans said he was getting sick, the chief said. But when she went to put him back in the police car, Evans escaped, Mann said.

His getaway resulted in several schools locking their doors and a large-scale search.

Although he was spotted nine days later by police at a Hope convenience store, Evans got away a second time following a vehicle-and-foot chase in a Hope subdivision, according to police reports.

On Thanksgiving Day 2015, police issued a statewide advisory describing Evans as armed and dangerous after it was learned he had been selling methamphetamine and guns that were hidden beneath a blanket in a vehicle, the advisory stated.

Three days later, a multi-agency effort on the east side of Indianapolis led to Evans’ arrest.

On the day of his escape, Evans had been scheduled to be sentenced in Johnson Superior Court 3 on theft charges. In addition, he also was on probation for auto theft in Scott County, as well as for felony convictions of driving while suspended in both Bartholomew and Marion counties.

Court records indicate most of those cases remain open, which could add more time to Worton’s sentence.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.