By Kip Hill
SPOKANE — Toenail clippers, a metal clothes hook and some toothpaste could not buy freedom for an accused child rapist and a man facing drug charges at the Spokane County Jail last weekend.
Jeremiah Logan and Jason Cooper, both 32, face charges of first-degree escape after letters from Logan and a fellow inmate were found indicating the cellmates’ plans to break out of the jail.
Jail officials discovered a hole, several inches across and just 2 or 3 inches tall, bored through the interior wall of a cell Logan and Cooper shared. Even if Logan and Cooper had made it through, Spokane County sheriff’s Lt. Mike Sparber said, they would have had to dig through another concrete wall, only to wind up in a sealed maintenance corridor.
“They wouldn’t have made it very far, that’s for sure,” Sparber said.
Logan faces a June trial on child rape charges dating to fall 2011, and Cooper was moved to the jail in January awaiting disposition of a meth possession case. Cooper also faces a felony DUI charge and has a criminal history of injuring others while driving under the influence of drugs, according to court documents.
Cooper was granted a supervised pass from the jail last month to receive eyeglasses, according to court documents.
A tool fashioned out of toenail clippers, a strip of cloth and a towel rack was found in the pair’s cell. Sparber said the hole was likely made using collapsible metal clothes hooks that hang in each cell. It was camouflaged by toilet paper, toothpaste and cardboard, according to court documents.
Another inmate told jail staff he heard rustling from the cell Saturday night that sounded as though light fixtures were being removed, according to court documents.
Investigators said the size of the cell makes it impossible one inmate plotted the escape without the help and knowledge of the other, but Sparber could not say whether both men were involved in the plot. Despite the futility of the attempt, the cell has been vacated while the investigation continues, reducing the jail’s capacity by two inmates.
“We take this seriously,” Sparber said.
Sparber said he could not remember the most recent successful escape from the Spokane County Jail, which was built in 1986. Another failed escape attempt concocted by two inmates was thwarted by a confidential informant in November.