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Spokane County jail escape plan thwarted by anonymous tip

Jail guards found rope made from bedsheets, a steel rod and “fishing line” made of toilet paper and wire in the cell shared by two Spokane County Jail inmates who tried unsuccessfully to escape this week.

Corrections officials received a confidential tip that Bryan J. Storms and Kirk A. Beaulieu spent a week working to remove the window in their cell, according to court documents. The two, who both face trial for violent crimes, have been cellmates since September on the fifth floor of the jail.

The tipster also told officials that someone “on the outside” would help the inmates escape.

Corrections officers searched Storms’ and Beaulieu’s cell, where they said they found the homemade rope and line. They also said they found that the interior seal of the cell window had been pried loose and an inner pane of glass was missing. Toilet paper held the exterior pane of glass in place. The floor of the cell under the desk was covered in shattered glass.

Storms’ trial is tentatively scheduled to begin in February. Police say he smashed into a Ford pickup driven by 53-year-old Kevin Smith as Storm fled pursuing patrol cars on Feb. 10. Smith died of his injuries at the scene, and prosecutors are pursuing a charge of vehicular manslaughter against Storm. Storm pleaded not guilty to the charge last month.

Beaulieu has been in custody since March after police say he and another man drove a woman to rural Stevens County in August 2012, cut her free from duct tape they’d used to bind her and fired guns at her as she ran away. At one point, the woman said, Beaulieu asked her, “How does it feel to know you’re going to die today?” None of the bullets struck the woman, who was able to find help at a farm hours later.

Prosecutors are seeking charges of harassment, kidnapping and attempted murder against Beaulieu. His trial is scheduled to begin next month.

Both now face additional charges of attempted second-degree escape.



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