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Suspect in deadly Iowa jail escape to plead guilty

No plea bargain was made in the case, and Wesley Correa-Carmenaty still faces charges of murder, attempted murder, escape, kidnapping and other crimes


Associated Press

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — A man charged with killing a sheriff's deputy and wounding another while escaping from an Iowa jail will plead guilty, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The Pottawattamie County Attorney's Office said an attorney for Wesley Correa-Carmenaty, 24, informed officials of the change. No plea bargain was made in the case, and Correa-Carmenaty still faces charges of murder, attempted murder, escape, kidnapping and other crimes, the office said in a news release.

In this May 10, 2017, file photo, Wesley Correa-Carmenaty is led into the Woodbury County Jail in Sioux City, Iowa. Prosecutors say the man charged with killing a sheriff's deputy and wounding another while escaping from an Iowa jail will plead guilty. (Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal via AP, File)
In this May 10, 2017, file photo, Wesley Correa-Carmenaty is led into the Woodbury County Jail in Sioux City, Iowa. Prosecutors say the man charged with killing a sheriff's deputy and wounding another while escaping from an Iowa jail will plead guilty. (Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal via AP, File)

Correa-Carmenaty's trial was due to start Tuesday in Council Bluffs, but there instead will be a change of plea hearing that day.

Correa-Carmenaty had just been sentenced on May 1 to 45 years in prison in an unrelated murder case and was being taken from the courthouse to the Pottawattamie County Jail when the fatal assault occurred, officials have said.

Authorities say Correa-Carmenaty was in handcuffs and leg shackles as he was being transported in a jail van, but managed to unlock them by the time the van reached the jail.

A struggle ensued, and Correa-Carmenaty managed to grab a gun of one of the deputies, officials said, shooting Deputy Mark Burbridge in the head and Deputy Pat Morgan in the abdomen before taking both deputies' guns, ammunition and the keys to the van. Burbridge died and Morgan survived.

Correa-Carmenaty then drove a transport van through a jail garage door, abandoning it a few blocks away, authorities said. Authorities say he tried to carjack a truck, shooting and wounding a man inside it, and then carjacked a woman and drove across the state border into Omaha, Nebraska, where he let the woman go. He was arrested there a short time later after crashing during a high-speed chase with police.

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