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Benewah County jail escapee arrested in Idaho

Wed., July 20, 2011, 11:01 a.m.

A convicted burglar who escaped from the Benewah County Jail on Friday was arrested early Wednesday in southern Kootenai County.

Coeur d’Alene tribal police arrested Jesse John Wilkenson, 20, alias Jesse Brebner, near Conklin Park Road about 2 a.m., said Kootenai County sheriff’s Lt. Stu Miller.

Wilkenson was booked into the Kootenai County Jail before being transferred back to Benewah County.

Wilkensen escaped the jail after he was sentenced Friday to a year-long retained jurisdiction program that allowed him to complete a treatment program in lieu of a prison sentence.

Benewah County officials did not alert the public or the Idaho Department of Correction to Wilkenson’s escape; rather DOC officials saw a note about it in a routine form discussing prisoner transfers.

Miller said tribal police were able to arrest Wilkenson only because they’ve been cross deputized by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, which Benewah County refuses to do.

Benewah County Sheriff Robert Kirts has not returned phone calls seeking comment.

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