Lincoln County Sheriff: Rutledge "will pay dearly" for escape - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Lincoln County Sheriff: Rutledge "will pay dearly" for escape

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Ronald Rutledge made his escape while working in the Lincol County Jail kitchen Ronald Rutledge made his escape while working in the Lincol County Jail kitchen

On Thursday Lincoln County Sheriff Wade Magers talked with KHQ about the escape of an inmate in late October. Ronald Rutledge ran off from a work assignment Oct. 30. He was found about a week and a half later, Nov. 9, in Loon Lake. U.S. Marshals were able to track him down, based on a tip. Rutledge was found inside a home, but when we asked Sheriff Magers who owned the home, he said the details of the arrest were confidential. 

The Sheriff did say Rutledge did not have the rifle he's accused of stealing just after his escape. Sheriff Magers said he doesn't know where the rifle is, he just knows it wasn't with Rutledge. 

We asked the Sheriff if he is going to re-evaluate security at the jail. He told us this was not a security issue. He said Rutledge didn't break out of jail, he was a worker-inmate who ran off. Sheriff Magers said, "Rutledge only had several months left of his sentence. Now he's committed a whole bunch of new crimes and he's going to pay dearly for it. He'll like spend a decade behind bars."

As for whether they'll tighten restrictions on other worker-inmates, the Sheriff also said no. He said the risk-reward simply isn't there for these guys to run off. He also said most inmates who want to be on work assignment are turned down. Sheriff Magers said to be selected a vetting crew looks at the charges, the time served so far, and what the inmate has left to serve. He said, for example, if an inmate is charged with murder, that inmate would never be allowed on a work crew. 

In Rutledge's case, he was in jail on a burglary charge. He only had a few months left to serve, and he wasn't know to be violent in any way. While he had escaped from the Whitman County Jail, in 2010, the Sheriff said they weren't aware of that. We asked if Rutledge had given any kind of idea why he ran off and the Sheriff said, "the only thing he's said since we got him back is 'I want an attorney.'" 

We asked if the Sheriff could theorize whether it was drugs or a woman and he said, "that's usually what it is, but I can't say yet in this case. I think he'll eventually talk, he's just not talking right now." 

As for the kitchen employee working while Rutledge made his escape, we asked if she was facing any potential legal issues. The Sheriff said she will not be disciplined in any way. He said she didn't contribute to his escape. He was an inmate worker with the ability to run off, and that's what he did. 

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