Convicted felon escapes custody in Mason County, deputies say

Convicted felon escapes custody in Mason County, deputies say
Deputies with the Mason County Sheriff's Office say Donald F Hartwell Jr. escaped from Mason County District Court in Shelton on Tuesday. (KIRO 7)

SHELTON, Wash. — Deputies with the Mason County Sheriff’s Department are searching for a man who they say escaped custody Tuesday morning.

Deputies said Donald F Hartwell Jr., a convicted felon, escaped custody around just after 11 a.m. during a pretrial hearing in Mason County District Court in Shelton.

Hartwell Jr., 38, is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 190 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

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Officials said new procedure requires pretrial prisoners in Washington to be unrestrained in court.

According to deputies, Hartwell Jr. was in court on suspicion of second-degree theft, second-degree burglary and theft of a motor vehicle.

Anyone with information on Hartwell Jr.’s location is asked to call 911.

KIRO 7 will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.