Archive for Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More charges lodged against dog handler

Prosecutor: Woman and escapee picked up guns at her KCK home

August 23, 2006

On their way out of state after a February prison break, Lansing Correctional Facility volunteer Toby Young and convicted murderer John Manard made a quick stop at Young's house in Kansas City, Kan.

News of the stop -- previously unacknowledged by law enforcement officials -- came Thursday from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, as it announced a new indictment charging Young and Manard with federal weapons crimes.

The new charges could bring up to 10 more years in prison for Young, who is serving a 21-month sentence for aiding Manard's escape.

Prosecutors allege Young gave a 9 mm Glock pistol and a .380-caliber AMT pistol to Manard on the day of the breakout.

"Our allegation is that the crime occurred at her residence in KCK, where the two picked up the guns after the escape," said James Cross, a spokesman for U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren.

Previously, investigators described only one stop by Young and Manard after they slipped from the prison on their way out of Kansas -- at a storage facility in Bonner Springs. There, the two traded the Safe Harbor Prison Dogs program van for a Chevy pickup Young had procured. Young, who ran the Safe Harbor program, drove Manard, who was hidden in a dog crate in the van, out of the prison.

Bill Miskell, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections, said investigators learned of the stop at Young's house in the days after the escape but did not make that public at the time.

"When they left the facility, their first stop was at the house," Miskell said. "They dropped off dogs they had had in the van. We developed that information late and didn't go back to correct the story (to reporters)."

Young began serving her 21-month sentence last month after pleading to state charges.

In the federal indictment, Young is charged with one count of knowingly giving a firearm to a felon and fugitive. Manard is charged with one count of unlawfully possessing a firearm after a felony conviction.

The escape and resulting search for the fugitives took the region by storm. Initially it wasn't known whether Young, 48, was taken hostage by Manard, 27, during the escape.

That theory quickly was dismissed as evidence of a planned escape mounted.

The two were captured 12 days later in Tennessee, where they had been staying at a remote fishing lake.

Young pleaded guilty June 1 in Leavenworth County District Court to aiding and abetting aggravated prison escape and introducing contraband -- a cell phone for Manard's use -- into the prison.

Miskell said he doubted any other new information about the escape would be forthcoming.

As part of the plea, Young agreed to cooperate with investigators and she corroborated most of the information investigators already had gathered, Miskell said.

Manard, who is serving a life sentence for a 1996 Johnson County murder during a carjacking, faces a preliminary hearing on the escape charges scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 6 in Leavenworth County District Court.

If convicted on the new federal charges, Young and Manard each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000, Cross said.

Manard is back in Lansing prison, where he continues to be in administrative segregation 23 hours a day . Young is at the women's prison in Topeka.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Morehead is prosecuting the firearms case, which has been assigned to federal Judge John Lungstrum and referred to Magistrate Judge David Waxse in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.

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