Idaho Inmate Appears in Court after Escape Attempt

( – Two white supremacist prison gang members in Idaho just attended their first preliminary hearing after a failed escape attempt from prison by one of them with the other’s help. A woman who allegedly aided in the escape plot by providing them with her vehicle also appeared at the hearing.

Skylar Meade, 31, an inmate serving 20 years behind bars at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, managed to escape after being discharged from the hospital last month. On Monday, April 8, he and two accomplices appeared in court for a preliminary hearing.

On Wednesday, March 20, Meade was assisted in his escape by Nicholas Umphenour, who shot at corrections officers as they prepared to transport Meade back to prison from the hospital, wounding two of them. Meade and Umphenour then made away in a vehicle owned by 27-year-old Tia J. Garcia of Twin Falls, who has also been charged in connection with the incident. Garcia allegedly falsely reported after the attack that her car was stolen.

The inmate and his accomplice then went on the run for 36 hours before law enforcement finally caught up with them. In relation to the ambush, Umphenour faces three felony counts of aggravated battery and use of a deadly weapon and is being held on $2 million bail.

Meade and Umphenour are also suspects in the killing of two men, one in Nez Perce and another in Clearwater County, about seven hours away by car from where law enforcement finally caught them in Twin Falls. Eighty-three-year-old James L. Mauney was reported missing after going out to walk the dogs in Juliaetta, Idaho, and 72-year-old Gerald Don Henderson was found dead in Orofino outside of his cabin. Henderson had a connection to Umphenour, according to authorities, and the car the two men used to travel to Twin Falls was a minivan that belonged to Mauney.

According to the Idaho Department of Correction, Meade and Umphenour both belong to the white supremacist prison gang known as the Aryan Knights.

A fourth person, Tonia Huber, was also charged in the escape plot for harboring a fugitive. She was also charged with drug possession and eluding police.

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