Graves manslaughter fugitive discovered critically injured

Contributed photo

The McCracken County Sheriff's Department says this is the truck Mark Basham wrecked in a June 26 crash on Old Mayfield Road. Authorities had been searching for Basham since they learned he left Centerpoint Men's Recovery Center in Paducah on that date without completing the program.

A fugitive wanted for manslaughter in Graves County was driving a stolen truck when he wrecked it and was seriously hurt the same day he left rehab, deputies believe.

Mark Basham, 33, of Mayfield, remained in critical condition at an out-of-state hospital Saturday, McCracken County deputy Ryan Willcutt said. Deputies working with Kentucky State Police and Tennessee authorities identified him Friday as the driver in the single-vehicle wreck June 26 on Old Mayfield Road.

Graves County deputies had been searching for Basham since they learned he left Centerpoint Men's Recovery Center in Paducah on June 26 without completing the program. Basham had been court ordered into the program as a condition of his release on a $10,000 surety bond. A Graves County grand jury had indicted him June 14 on second-degree manslaughter and other charges, but he hadn't been served with the warrant before he left Centerpoint.

Graves County Jailer George Workman said previously that investigators believe Basham gave methamphetamine excreted in his feces to at least five fellow jail inmates after being arrested following a police chase April 19.

One of the inmates, Rodney Evans, died. Police believe Basham swallowed laced methamphetamine during the police chase, which passed through his system and out while he was in custody.

Jail surveillance footage captured him dropping a few small white items on the cell's floor, then picking them up, according to documents in Basham's public court file.

The footage then showed Basham and Evans talking and Evans swallowing some small, white items. Both Basham and Evans were later hospitalized. Evans died April 20 in the emergency room at Baptist Health Paducah.

Willcutt said deputies responded to the wreck June 26 about 11 a.m. in the 6200 block of Old Mayfield Road. The driver, now identified as Basham, had been ejected from a southbound Ford F-350 pickup truck.

An investigation showed the truck crossed into the northbound lane, left the road and hit a utility pole and tree head-on, Willcutt said. The driver was incapacitated and unidentified at the time. He was taken first to a local hospital and then flown to an out-of-state hospital for treatment.

Deputies had been attempting to discover the driver's identity since the wreck, Willcutt said. The truck had been reported stolen from McBride Mack Truck Sales in Paducah.

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