Ore. inmate recaptured after rooftop jailbreak

The inmate allegedly made a rooftop escape after entering the jail's ventilation system


Nick Morgan
Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A Grants Pass man already facing a string of felonies that includes a burglary charge in a marijuana theft from the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office impound lot is back in the Josephine County Jail after an alleged escape attempt.

Justin Allen Denney, 26, allegedly made a rooftop escape after entering the jail’s ventilation system through a “human-made hole in the roof of a janitor closet,” according to a release issued Saturday evening.

“Once in the ventilation system, Denney was able to access the roof of the jail,” the release prepared by Undersheriff Travis Snyder said.

After sheriff’s deputies spotted Denney on the roof, Denney allegedly jumped down and ran from police, according to the release. Sheriff’s deputies and Grants Pass police captured Denney after a foot chase.

Josephine County jail records show new arrests accusing Denney of breaking into and attempting to steal a vehicle. Records show that Grants Pass police arrested Denney in the Walmart parking lot adjacent to the jail. They also show that Denney is being held without bail.

The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety is currently investigating the escape incident, according to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office release.

Prior to the alleged escape, Denney had been held in the jail facing numerous felony charges, including an alleged Jan. 24 break-in to the sheriff’s impound lot in the 1700 block of N Street in Grants Pass, according to documents filed by Grants Pass police in Josephine County Circuit Court. The documents alleged he cut a lock to the fully fenced lot and made off with 15 pounds of marijuana valued at $6,000, among other items.

He faces separate burglary charges in a Jan. 14 home burglary in Grants Pass, in which about $5,000 in electronics and more than $3,000 in jewelry were reported stolen.

Denney separately faces charges of identity theft and theft between December and January from Home Depot, Ross Dress for Less and Walmart stores in Grants Pass.

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©2019 the Mail Tribune (Medford, Ore.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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