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News

Former Escapee Who Failed To Show Up To Court Will Face Up To 14 Years In PA Prison: DA

Dwayne H. Yates
Dwayne H. Yates Photo Credit: Dauphin County district attorney's office

A central Pennsylvania man is on the run-- again.

Dwayne H. Yates, 37, of Harrisburg, was convicted for the felony charge of illegal possession of a firearm on Thursday, according to a release by the Dauphin County district attorney’s office.

He texted his attorney “moments before opening statements” that he was not going to be in attendance, according to the DA.

In his absence and after only 30 short minutes of deliberation, Yates was sentenced to 84-168 months or 7 to 14 years in state prison on Tuesday morning, according to the release.

“The evidence against Yates was overwhelming,” said Dauphin County Deputy District Attorney Ryan P. Shovlin, who prosecuted the case for the Commonwealth.

Yates is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law because he was convicted of several felony drug offenses in 2013 and of Escape in 2005, according to court documents and the DA.

This current case stems from a bizarre domestic abuse incident on Jan. 30, 2020, according to the release.

Yates physically assaulted his ex-girlfriend in the Hoverter Homes housing community in Harrisburg, cutting his hand when he smashed the window of her residence and fled to a neighbor’s home leaving a trail of blood while his ex-girlfriend was on the phone with 911, the DA says.

Minutes later, Harrisburg Bureau of police surrounded the neighbor’s house and took him into custody, which is when they discovered he was in possession of a single round of 9mm ammunition in his front left pocket, according to the release.

During the investigation police followed his bloody trail to his neighbors second floor bathroom toilet where they found “a fully-loaded 9mm handgun with a scratched off serial number submerged in the tank, along with a fully-loaded spare magazine,” which matched the brand and caliber of the gun in Yates’ pocket, as stated in the release.

The serial number on the handgun was traced to show it was only purchased the day before the assault and a Lebanon County man testified that he sold the gun to Yates for $500, according to the release.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Dwayne Yates to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 717-780-6590.

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