North Idaho

Inmates captured near Worley after Benewah County jailbreak

BENEWAH COUNTY, Idaho - Two Benewah County inmates' overnight bid for freedom ended with their capture near Worley within a few hours after they made their jailbreak.

According to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department around 2:30 a.m. Thursday the Benewah Sheriff's Department sent out an alert that Todd Miller, 40, and Tyler Walton, 20, had escaped from jail.

About an hour later a Coeur d'Alene tribal police officer approached a car at the Smoke Shop in Worley, Idaho, and a man ran from the car. Inside the car the officer found a pair of orange pants belonging to the Benewah County Sheriff's Office.

The officer determined that the car was just stolen out of St. Maries.

Benewah County jailbreak

Officers from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department and Idaho State Police, along with Spokane County's Air 1, launched a search for the man who ran from the car.

Just after 6:30 a.m., Air 1 helped locate Miller, who was subsequently taken into custody. An hour later Walton was spotted running along nearby railroad tracks. Tribal police found him hiding in some brush a short time later.

In a jailhouse interview shortly after his capture, Walton laid out how the jailbreak went down, calling his escape an "F-U" to the cops.

Walton had been previously convicted on felony burglary charges and when he didn't check in with his probation officer he was arrested again.

Scared that he was going to be sent to prison he decided to make a break for freedom. He started burrowing through the wall of his jail cell, using toothpaste and shavings from his digging to fill the hole in.

Once the hole was big enough for him to crawl through he tied himself to a bed sheet, scaled down the wall and jumped the last 15 feet to the ground.

Since the jail doesn't have any fencing around it, Walton ran a few blocks down to his girlfriend's house and threw pebbles at her window. He then got some clothes and a ride to Worley from an unidentified person, and got away when officers approached the vehicle.

As he was running away he realized officers were on his trail and, growing tired, Walton gave up when a deputy caught up with him.

So why did he escape? Walton said he felt like the authorities wanted to send him to prison and he thought he didn't deserve it.

Todd Miller's escape on the same night was purely coincidental; Walton said he wasn't working with him and they didn't collaborate on plans to escape from the jail together. 

Miller had been in custody for fleeing from police, leading them on a high speed chase for approximately 40 miles back on August 2. When they caught up with him, police realized Miller was also the suspect in a Post Falls car theft.

Now Miller, along with Walton, is back in custody in Benewah County, after a brief stop at the Kootenai County Public Safety Building. In addition to the original charges which put them into jail, they'll now likely face additional jail time for escape.