Norman Bakery Owner Dies in Cleveland County Jail, Community Mourns

News 9 - December 12, 2022 6:40 am

The community of Norman mourns the loss of a beloved business owner. Norman Police say 38-year-old Shannon Hanchett died Thursday inside the Cleveland County Jail. Friends of Shannon Hanchett say she was a long time mental health advocate and worked in the industry for years before finally fulfilling her dream of opening a cookie cottage.

“She was one of those people that once you met her you feel like you’ve known her your whole life,” said Kate Bierman, Hanchett’s friend.

Bierman says the loss of her friend, Shannon Hanchett, leaves a big hole in the Norman community.

“She touched so many people’s lives and I think it’s because if she knew you, she loved you.”

Bierman first met Hanchett online and sold her cookies inside her coffee shop, The Yellow Dog Coffee Company in Norman.

“I felt like her cookies brought together everything that was special about her,” said Bierman.

Last year, Hanchett finally opened Okie Baking Co. on Main Street, where she would bake up cookies, each one highlighting a different Oklahoma town.

“She would donate cookies to Norman Pride to Art Walk events to the Christmas parade,” she said. “If there was an event that needed sweets, she was there to provide it.”

When word of Hanchett’s death spread through the community, a memorial quickly appeared outside her business.

“It’s a real loss,” she said. “I have lived here for 13 years and I have never seen a community grieve this way.”

According to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, Hanchett died Thursday inside a cell at the Cleveland County Jail. Norman Police say she was arrested on November 26 for placing false 911 calls and obstructing an officer. Police also say she exhibited irrational behavior at the time of her arrest.

“Shannon was very open about her struggles, about her families struggles,” Bierman said. “I think we have all known for a while that there are some very significant systemic issues in our criminal justice system and how we treat mental health.”

Her death is under investigation by multiple agencies, including the OSBI. The medical examiner will determine her cause of death. For now, family and friends will have to wait for answers.

“A lot of questions and at multiple levels, there’s local involvement here, there’s county involvement here, there’s state involvement here,” she said. “We’re gonna find out, we will.”

Shannon leaves behind two young boys. A candlelight vigil is planned for her on Monday at 7 pm at her cookie cottage, Okie Baking Co., 231 W. Main St. in Norman. If you would like to help her family, there is a GoFundMe account set up, just CLICK HERE.

Related Story: Inmate Dies At Cleveland County Detention Center; Authorities Investigating

 

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