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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Inmate who escaped jail pleads guilty

  • A man has pleaded guilty to escaping last month from the Leavenworth County Jail.
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  • Raheem K. Armstead, 29, Leavenworth, escaped from custody at the jail Dec. 29. Members of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office took him back into custody Dec. 31 at a Leavenworth residence.
    Armstead pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated escape from custody Friday in Leavenworth County District Court. He also pleaded guilty to a felony drug paraphernalia charge from a case that already was pending at the time of the escape.
    Sentencing for both cases is scheduled for Feb. 22. County Attorney Todd Thompson said Armstead could face three to five years in prison for the two cases.
    Armstead already has been sentenced to 34 months in prison following an August conviction for a possession of methamphematine and other charges. And another drug case is still pending against him.
    Armstead had been a trusty at the Leavenworth County Jail at the time of the escape. He was part of a small group of trusties who were escorted by a detention officer Dec. 29 to dispose of trash in an outdoor receptacle. After the officer turned to position himself so the inmates would be between him and the building, he was not able to locate Armstead, according to Thompson.
    The trusties were locked down and the jail was searched to confirm that Armstead had fled. Surveillance footage captured Armstead running across the south parking lot of the Justice Center, which is where the jail is located.
    District Judge Gunnar Sundby said he couldn't sentence Armstead Friday because pre-sentencing investigation reports have to be prepared.
    Armstead's attorney, Geoffrey Sonntag, asked if the reports could be prepared within a week.
    "Mr. Armstead is anxious to get all of these issues resolved," Sonntag said.
    Sundby said he didn't think the reports could be completed that quickly and scheduled sentencing for Feb. 22.
    Sonntag said he believes there will be a plea in the case that is still pending against Armstead following the Feb. 22 sentencing.
    A status hearing for the remaining case also was scheduled for Feb. 22.
    Three other people have been charged in connection to Armstead's escape.
    James R. Hill, 29, has been charged for allegedly aiding in the escape.
    Joshua A. Showalter, 25, and Amber D. Hall, 23, are accused of harboring, concealing or aiding Armstead. All three are scheduled to return to court Jan. 25.

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