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Escapee gets more jail time

Inmate who walked away from work detail could serve five more years Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

A man from Gusher, Utah, was sentenced this month to serve zero to five years in the Utah State Prison after he was convicted of escaping from Summit County jailers at Kimball Junction April 10.

Charles Val McCurdy, 27, escaped at around 3 a.m. while on a work detail for inmates at the Landmark Inn, authorities said.

McCurdy escaped with help from Tonya Downs, 40, and 33-year-old inmate Nicholas Justin Anderson, prosecutors claim.

McCurdy and Anderson were doing laundry when Downs picked McCurdy up at the hotel, court papers state.

"Downs dropped McCurdy off at a gas station located in the Jeremy Ranch area of Park City," Summit County Attorney David Brickey claimed in a court filing. "When no one returned, McCurdy stated he saw police officers, so he climbed to the top of the car wash drier to hide."

McCurdy later offered a construction worker $50 to drive him to a check-cashing business in Midvale where he was apprehended by police, Brickey claimed.

McCurdy and Anderson were emptying laundry carts when McCurdy escaped, Brickey added.

Detectives knew McCurdy had roughly $300 worth of checks from the Summit County Jail, prosecutors claimed.

"Sometime thereafter, Check City in Midvale called and stated that McCurdy and another individual were at the Check City attempting to cash one of the [checks]," court papers filed by prosecutors state.

According to Brickey, Midvale officers detained McCurdy at the business.

The suspect later told investigators he had worked with the crew doing laundry for eight months, court papers state.

McCurdy and Anderson had previously discussed escaping from jail, Brickey claimed.

According to the Department of Corrections, in 1998 McCurdy was convicted of arranging to distribute a controlled substance. Also, he was reportedly convicted in Eighth District Court in Vernal of possession of a controlled substance in 2003 and forgery and drug possession in 2004.

This month Downs was sentenced to serve jail time and pay a $2,500 fine and Anderson was sentenced to serve zero to five years in prison and pay a $1,500 fine for assisting McCurdy in the escape, according to a Third District Court clerk.

"[McCurdy] was a model inmate. He was not a discipline problem," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said at the time of McCurdy’s escape.

Whether inmates are released for employment depends on their criminal history and behavior while incarcerated.

McCurdy was the first inmate to escape from a work-release program in Summit County during Edmunds’ administration, the sheriff said, adding that nobody has escaped from the Summit County Jail since the facility opened in the mid-1990s.

According to Edmunds, prior to his escape, McCurdy was slated for release within a few weeks.


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