Buck Martindale

MIAMI, Okla. — An Ottawa County woman who helped hide a jail escapee in an attic pleaded guilty and received a two-year deferred sentence.

Callie (Cassie) Gower, 41, of Miami entered the plea on April 20 in Ottawa County District Court to harboring a fugitive from justice in connection to the October 2022 jail break involving Tyler Tavis, Daniel Zajicek, Rusty Reece and Buck Martindale.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies and Quapaw Nation Marshals located Martindale at a rural Quapaw residence on Oct. 5. Gower, Martindale’s girlfriend, answered the door and “was very nervous acting and had what appeared to be several” marks on her neck, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Law enforcement officers noticed a chair in the back bedroom closet underneath the attic entrance with a shoe print on it, and Martindale’s shoes lying on the floor, the affidavit states.

He was located hiding in the crawl space behind the vent.

Martindale’s state charges of escaping from a penal institution, assault upon a correctional officer, obstructing an officer and public intoxication were dismissed in January based on a motion filed in December.

The motion is based on the Lawhorn and McGirt Supreme Court rulings reaffirming the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations reservations. The Lawhorn ruling allows the existence of the Quapaw Reservation making it the first and only tribe in Oklahoma to have its reservation affirmed that is not part of the “Five Civilized Tribes.

Martindale is a member of the Quapaw Nation, according to the motion.

Court records show Reece, who is a member of the Quapaw Nation, the case was also dismissed based on the same Supreme Court jurisdictional ruling.

Tavis, who is in federal custody, is set to appear in Ottawa County District Court on May 8 and Zajicek is due back in state court on May 8, according to court records.