Crime & Courts

Inmate who set fire to Kansas jail and shot at officers in escape sentenced to prison

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

A man who escaped from a Kansas jail with another inmate after setting a fire and shooting at officers has been sentenced to 47 years in prison.

Matson Zane Hatfield, 31, was sentenced Tuesday to 47 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder and other charges in connection to an October 2017 escape from the Marshall County jail, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a release.

Hatfield and Jeffrey S. Guenther, 47, were arrested after escaping from the jail in Marysville, in northeast Kansas, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said at the time.

A bureau news release said two inmates lit a fire in a jail cell, causing smoke to fill the jail. Hatfield and Guenther then forced their way through the jail, grabbed two shotguns and ran into the sheriff’s office parking lot.

Guenther carjacked a county employee’s pickup at gunpoint, a Marysville police officer shot at Guenther and shots were fired at a firetruck, the KBI said. He was captured after he crashed the stolen truck on Highway 77 in Nebraska.

Hatfield ran to a nearby home, shot at a man in front of the house and later surrendered to a police officer, the KBI said.

No injuries were reported during or after the escape.

Hatfield pleaded guilty last month to attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, aggravated escape from custody, conspiracy to commit aggravated escape from custody, two counts of criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling, criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied building, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, criminal damage to property, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and two counts of battery against a law enforcement officer.

Charges against Guenther are pending, the attorney general’s office said.

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