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Mom, stepfather sentenced for helping inmate after Cass County jail escape

By Makenzie Koch,


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Blue Springs couple have been sentenced for helping a federal inmate after he escaped the Cass County jail last year.

Dawn Branstietter pleaded guilty in April to assisting an escape and was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison. Branstietter’s husband, John Douglas Baxter, was also sentenced to 16 months in prison for helping the inmate.

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Branstietter is the mother of Trevor Sparks, who escaped the Cass County jail last December and was recaptured a few weeks later. Another inmate, Sergio Perez-Martinez , also escaped with Sparks and is still on the run.

Prosecutors say Sparks made several calls to Branstietter from the jail, and they discussed his upcoming escape attempt.

Sparks and Martinez ultimately escaped by using deception and taking advantage of facility damage to flee. An accomplice picked up Sparks and drove him to Kansas City. That man was already sentenced to 40 months in custody .

Once Sparks made it to Kansas City, prosecutors say Branstietter and Baxter provided him food, clothing and housing while he was on the run.

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Days after Sparks escaped, Branstietter told detectives she wouldn’t give up her son and would go to prison so he could be free. Baxter also wasn’t cooperative with law enforcement, prosecutors said.

Sparks and Branstietter were arrested in Kansas City a few weeks after his escape, and Baxter was also later taken into custody.

Sparks pleaded guilty in June to charges related to the escape. He was sentenced earlier this week to life in prison, plus 60 months, for a $4.1 million meth conspiracy . He was also sentenced to another 33 months for his escape.

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