An Illinois woman was sentenced Monday to seven years in federal prison for her role in a shootout that resulted in a Deputy U.S. Marshal being shot when law enforcement officers attempted to arrest her boyfriend on an outstanding murder warrant.
The shootout occurred on South Lamar Boulevard, a very busy street in Oxford, in May of 2020.
According to court documents, the defendant, Xaveriana Cook and Hunter Carlstrom were in a romantic relationship in May of 2020 when Carlstrom told Cook he was going to murder an individual by the name of James Sartorelli, a/k/a “Caveman” in order to steal money, drugs and guns from Sartorelli. Following that conversation, Carlstrom went to Sartorelli’s Smithville, Arkansas home, murdered Sartorelli, and then informed Cook that he had killed Sartorelli.
Testimony established that law enforcement officers in Arkansas located the body of James Sartorelli, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, on May 7, 2020, and an Arkansas County Circuit Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Hunter Carlstrom for that murder on May 11, 2020. However, by that time, Cook and Carlstrom had fled to Mississippi in Cook’s car, where they stayed with acquaintances from May 7, 2020, until May 15, 2020.
The U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force began searching for Carlstrom after the warrant was issued for his arrest for the murder of James Sartorelli. Carlstrom, a previously convicted felon who had served time in prison, and Cook were together in Cook’s vehicle in Oxford, Mississippi on May 15, 2020, when members of the U.S. Marshal’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle in an attempt to arrest Carlstrom on the outstanding murder warrant.
During the lunch-hour traffic stop on South Lamar Boulevard, Carlstrom shot Deputy U.S. Marshal Bob Dickerson, who sustained severe internal injuries as a result of the gunshot wound and required emergency surgery. Carlstrom was shot by return fire from law enforcement and died on scene. Cook, who had been driving the vehicle, was taken into custody by law enforcement.
After Carlstrom engaged in the shoot-out with officers, investigators found a stolen Glock 9mm handgun in Cook’s vehicle. In addition, officers searched the residence where Carlstrom and Cook had been staying for the previous week and located two firearms that had been stolen from James Sartorelli’s house. Testimony and court documents presented during the case established that Cook admitted Carlstrom had told her on multiple occasions that he would not go back to prison and that he would have a shoot-out with the cops if he and Cook were ever stopped by law enforcement.
Cook was subsequently charged in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi with multiple counts of criminal conduct for her role in the offense and ultimately pled guilty to being an Accessory After the Fact to Robbery and Murder and Aiding and Abetting the Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.
Following Monday’s sentence, U.S. Marshal Danny McKittrick spoke about the case and Dickerson.
“The U.S. Marshal’s Service is proud of Deputy Marshal Bob Dickerson and his family for the way they have handled a very difficult chapter in their family’s life, and they are thankful to finally close it. On behalf of Bob’s family, the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Fugitive Task Force, we would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners and the Federal Court family for all of their prayers and support during the process. We thank again the Baptist Hospital administration, nursing staff and Doctors Lovelace, Kirk and Hamilton for saving our friend Bob’s life.”
“Individuals who assist and facilitate the criminal conduct of others are accountable for harm that results,” U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner said. “In this case, the defendant chose to help a self-confessed murderer flee the state where he had brutally murdered and robbed another individual. Even though this defendant knew her boyfriend was armed and intent on engaging in a shoot-out with any law enforcement who attempted to arrest him, she continued to assist him, facilitating his interstate travel and attempt to avoid arrest and prosecution. This defendant should not have been surprised that Carlstrom made good on his threats to open fire on law enforcement, resulting in his own death and life-threatening injuries to a Deputy U.S. Marshal who was simply trying to do his job. Today’s sentence was an important step towards protecting our communities and achieving justice for those harmed by this conduct.”
“The FBI is committed to working with our state and local partners to reduce violence in the community and keep the citizens of Mississippi safe,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jermicha L. Fomby. “That safety is eroded when illegally obtained firearms are used against those sworn to keep the community safe. We want the public to know the FBI does not tolerate this behavior and will continue to hold those who violate the law accountable.”
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Lawrence County Arkansas Sheriff’s Department and ATF. The case was prosecuted by AUSA Clyde McGee and AUSA Clay Dabbs.