New details emerge about triple-murder suspect's attempted jail escape

Jail locked down after inmate tries to escape

PORTLAND, Ore. -- New court documents released Tuesday reveal details about Brent Luyster's attempted escape from the Clark County Jail that was discovered Sunday night.

Luyster is charged with murdering three people in Woodland last July. His arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed until March 6.

Prosecutors plan to add three new charges -- possession of a weapon, first-degree malicious mischief and second-degree attempted escape -- related to Luyster's attempted escape. The triple-murder suspect also requested to represent himself on any new charges.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office reported an exterior cell window had been broken as part of Luyster's attempted escape. The shattered window was discovered by a corrections deputy during a routine perimeter check on Sunday night.

RELATED: See a photo of the broken cell window

According to the court documents, after the broken window was discovered, deputies searched Luyster's cell and found evidence that pointed to an elaborate escape attempt.

A modified comb inside the cell was similar in size to a key hole on the locking screen of the cell window. Beyond the screen, a glass window had been shattered and a file folder was covering a large hole, about 8 inches by 6 inches, in the bottom-right part of the window.

The window had a vertical and horizontal cross beam designed to stop a person from fitting through, but deputies saw one of the horizontal bars had cut marks on both ends. If the cross beam had been removed, it would have created an opening of 14 inches by 15 inches, big enough for a person to fit through. About 20 feet below the window is a walkway area of the sheriff's office.

A long cord was found in a garbage bag inside the cell. It was weighted with several pencils that had been wrapped in the cord and a hook on the end of the cord had been fashioned using screws and a flexible fabric loop.

Deputies also noticed a small metal ball bearing was missing from a towel holder in the cell. A ball bearing similar in size and appearance to the missing bearing was found on Luyster during a later search. Luyster told deputies he had removed the bearing from a piercing on his body.

In the cell, deputies also noticed screws had been removed from a metal interior window screen frame. The side of the frame, about 15 inches in length, was held in with one screw and could be easily removed. The ends of the side piece had been ground down to create sharp points. Police said the metal side of the frame appeared to have been modified as a weapon that could be used to cause serious blunt force trauma or stabbing wounds.

READ: Brent Luyster court documents

 

BACKGROUND: Woodland triple-murder suspect may face death penalty

The investigation into Luyster began when deputies were first called at 10:20 p.m. on July 15 about a gunshot victim at an AM/PM on CC Street. They found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound to the face, according to Sgt. Tony Barnes of the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

Court documents revealed the woman was unable to speak with deputies, but she was able write the answers to their questions. She told them she passed out, then "army-crawled" away from the home to escape. She says she flagged down a car and rode to the gas station to get help.

Deputies learned the shooting happened at a home in the 4000 block of Northwest 417th Street. Upon arrival, they found three people dead.

The victims have been identified as Joseph Lamar, Janell Knight and Zachary Thompson. According to court documents, all three victims were shot in the head.

Documents reveal the two men were found dead, on their backs, side by side in the driveway. The woman was found dead, on her back, on the couch inside the home.

Luyster was considered armed and dangerous while deputies searched for him.

Cowlitz County deputies and Washington State Patrol troopers detained Luyster at around 4:15 p.m. on July 16. He was found driving a gold Ford Explorer on Ocean Beach Highway and taken into custody without incident.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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