A convicted murderer, who escaped custody, then went head to head with police in a gunfight plead guilty to 14 charges in an Edmonton courtroom Tuesday.

William Wade Bicknell escaped from a Corrections Canada van in March 2011 – while he was out on a day pass from the Drumheller Correctional Facility.

Court heard Tuesday that the 460 pound, 6’6” tall Bicknell overpowered his guard, who was 5’5” and 170 pounds – and that he planned and executed his escape by using a knife.

The Victim Impact Statement of the guard was read in court Tuesday.

“I was very frightened as I truly believed I was going to be murdered,” Federal Corrections Officer Darrell Steeves said in his statement.

The agreed statement of facts, Bicknell confined the officer for five hours, put him in handcuffs and then drove the van to an area where guns were stashed.

After his escape, court heard Bicknell’s sister helped him get weapons, and how he robbed and held rural homeowners hostage, and stole a car.

One rural homeowner who was robbed and confined by Bicknell at gunpoint also had his victim impact statement read in court.

“This crime has caused me to have post-traumatic stress,” Andy Zylenko’s statement said.

Nine days after his escape, Bicknell’s crime spree ended with a 2 hour shootout with three RCMP officers where he was hit twice in the head by gunfire, once in the face, before he surrendered.

Now, court heard Bicknell has a metal plate in his head because of the wounds he sustained in the shootout.

According to the agreed statement of facts, the lengthy shootout caused so much damage that a vehicle involved was written off with $25,000 in damages.

Bicknell’s sentencing is underway in Edmonton, but he remains behind bars in a Quebec facility – he is appearing in court via closed circuit television.

The Crown has asked that Bicknell have a life sentence for the 14 charges – with no chance of parole for 10 years.

With files from David Ewasuk