Man Escapes Bedford County Courthouse After Sentencing

Posted at 3:28 PM, Jul 07, 2015

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Authorities have asked the public to be on the lookout for a 24-year-old man who escaped custody after he was sentenced at the Bedford County courthouse.

Officials with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office said Tristan David McMahon was sentenced Tuesday on drug and weapons charges. When he was originally arrested on drug charges, officials said he had a deadly weapon in his possession. 

McMahon was sentenced to four years in prison. He had posted bond, and came to the court freely for his sentencing hearing. 

Around 10:20 a.m., McMahon was able to escape when a court officer was bringing he and six other inmates to the jail after the hearing. 

One of the other inmates distracted the officer by grabbing his shirt and asking a question. McMahan took the opportunity to flee from the officer. Officials said he ran into the basement of the courthouse and out a window. 

Officials with the Sheriff's Office said they believed the two inmates were working together. They were seen talking together before the escape. The other man's identity was not released. 

Sheriff Austin Swing said the second inmate could face additional charges for his role in the escape. 

A court officer reported seeing McMahan had a cell phone with him in court. Investigators believed he may have used the phone to call someone waiting for him in a car to drive off after the escape. 

Additional deputies were not able to be called in to help with the search because officials said the time when the escape happened was already their highest-staffed level of any shift. 

Sheriff Swing said McMahon could be armed and dangerous, based on his previous charge involving a deadly weapon. 

Anyone who sees McMahon or knows of his whereabouts should call the Bedford County Sheriff's Office at 931-684-3232 or Crime Stoppers at 931-685-4300 to remain anonymous.

McMahon e was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. It was unknown if he was still in the Shelbyville area.