KBI investigating events surrounding the escape of two Marshall County Jail inmates

KBI investigating events surrounding the escape of two Marshall County Jail inmates

(Pictured left: Jeffrey S. Guenther) (Pictured right: Matson Z. Hatfield)

MARSHALL COUNTY –  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is assisting the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office following the Saturday afternoon escape of two inmates from the Marshall County Jail in Marysville, Kansas.

On Saturday, Oct. 14 at approximately 4:55 p.m., the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the KBI to investigate the events surrounding the escape of two Marshall County Jail inmates. KBI agents, the Crime Scene Response Team, and the Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal responded to conduct the investigation.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 3:50 p.m. on Saturday, inmates lit a fire in a cell, causing smoke to fill the Jail. Two inmates, 46-year-old Jeffrey S. Guenther, and 30-year-old Matson Z. Hatfield allegedly forced their way through the Jail, obtained two shotguns and then exited the Jail into the Sheriff’s Office parking lot.

It is believed that while the two inmates were fleeing, a civilian county employee’s tan 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck was stolen at gunpoint, and shots were fired at a Marysville Fire Department truck. A responding Marysville Police Officer fired at Guenther in the fleeing truck. Meanwhile, Hatfield reportedly fled on foot to a residence nearby the Jail, and fired shots toward a male subject standing in front of the residence. Hatfield was acquainted with the residents of the home. A short time later, Hatfield surrendered to an officer from the Marysville Police Department.

Guenther fled the area in the stolen pickup truck and headed north on Highway 77, across the state line into Nebraska. He was pursued by Marysville Police until he rolled the truck and was apprehended in rural Gage County, Neb., not far from the Kansas/Nebraska state border. The Nebraska State Patrol investigated the accident scene.

Fortunately, no one was injured during the escape or in the events following the escape. By approximately 6 p.m. Saturday, the remaining Marshall County Jail inmates had been safely transferred to the Washington County Jail.

Law enforcement agencies who responded to this incident were: the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, the Marysville Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Formal charges have not yet been filed. This investigation is ongoing. No further information will be released at this time.