OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An inmate accused of shooting two Iowa deputies and escaping from jail before being recaptured a short time later in Nebraska will likely be returned quickly to Iowa to face charges, the Omaha area’s top prosecutor said Wednesday.
Wesley Correa-Carmenty, 24, appeared in court for the first time since Monday’s deadly escape from a Council Bluffs, Iowa, jail, which ended with his arrest in neighboring Omaha following a high-speed police chase.
The Omaha judge set his bail at $10 million, but Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said after the hearing that the public defender’s office informed him that Correa-Carmenaty would agree to be extradited to Iowa during a hearing on Thursday. The office didn’t reply to a phone message seeking comment.
Kleine said he would drop the Nebraska charges so that Correa-Carmenaty could be swiftly returned to face the more serious charges in Iowa, including counts of murder and attempted murder.
Correa-Carmenaty was shackled at the waist and surrounded by six officers in an Omaha jailhouse courtroom as the judge read off the Nebraska charges against him, including kidnapping, which carries a potential life sentence. A Spanish language interpreter was on hand.
According to prosecutors, Correa-Carmenaty was being transported to the Council Bluffs jail on Monday after being sentenced to 45 years in prison for unrelated convictions for manslaughter and attempted murder. He managed to grab one of the two deputies’ guns and shoot them both, killing Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Burbridge and wounding Deputy Pat Morgan, who is expected to survive.
Authorities say he then drove a transport van through a jail garage door, abandoning it a few blocks away before carjacking a woman and driving across the state border into Omaha, where he let the woman go. He was arrested in Omaha after crashing during a high-speed chase.
Authorities say Correa-Carmenaty shot another man, who is also expected to recover, while trying to carjack a pickup truck before commandeering the woman’s car.
He faces several charges in Iowa related to the escape, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, escape and weapons counts, and would face life in prison if convicted. There is no death penalty in Iowa.
Klein said it could have taken up to two months to extradite Correa-Carmenaty to Iowa if he had fought it.
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