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Prisoner who fled Whitecourt courthouse sentenced

The man who shot a sheriff while escaping from custody at the courthouse in Whitecourt has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

32 year old Clayton Ness was set to appear in court on drug trafficking charges in February of 2013 when he and another prisoner overpowered to sheriffs, shooting one of them. Ness fled the courthouse in a sheriffs’ van but ended up stuck in a snow drift at a farm eight km outside of Whitecourt.

Ness was taken back into custody when RCMP arrived shortly after. The entire incident lasted an hour and 15 minutes. He was charged with prison breach, robbery with a restricted firearm, intentionally discharging a firearm, aggravated assault while using a firearm, and assaulting a peace officer.

Sheriff Alan Buttree, who was shot in the escape attempt, endured four surgeries and has not been able to return to work as a result of injuries to his hand.

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The co-accused, Jake Allan MacIntyre, is scheduled to go to trial in November.

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