DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver jail inmate hustled out of the jail last month by a Denver Sheriff’s deputy said the deputy thought he was going to get paid $500,000 for engineering the escape, but ended up getting nothing.
“He wanted 250 up front and 250 at the end,” said Felix Trujillo. “He’s pretty dumb.”
The comments came in an exclusive interview with CBS4, Trujillo’s first public comments since he escaped from the Denver Detention Center April 7 and gave himself up three days later following a massive law enforcement manhunt.
Jail authorities said it was the first escape from the jail.
Trujillo said he agreed to the 90-minute interview with CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass because he wanted the public to know that the deputy facilitated the escape in the hopes of a financial windfall, not because Trujillo had threatened Deputy Matthew Andrews or his family.
In a statement two days after the escape, Denver Sheriff’s Deputy Andrews’ lawyer claimed the deputy’s actions “were compelled by threats to his life or his family’s life.”
The statement said that the day before the escape, someone had pointed a gun at Andrews and threatened his life and his families’ lives if Andrews did not assist Trujillo in getting out of jail. Andrews has not made any additional comments about the escape, which led to the Deputy being charged with a felony.
“That was the biggest mistake of my life to leave the jail,” Trujillo said during the on-camera conversation.
Trujillo had been in the Denver City Jail for nine months awaiting sentencing on a previous charge. He was housed in administrative segregation in cellblock 4-D where he says Deputy Andrews regularly worked.
The 24-year-old inmate said Andrews would complain about his financial condition and inquire about Trujillo’s finances. Trujillo said the deputy had seen his Facebook page showing him posing with expensive cars and motorcycles and was under the impression the inmate was wealthy.
Trujillo said he joked with the deputy about smuggling a cellphone into the jail.
“Then he pulled me aside and said, ‘about that cellphone thing.’”
Shortly after, Trujillo said Andrews met with some associates of Trujillo’s along Federal Blvd, who gave the deputy a cellphone and charger which Trujillo says Andrews smuggled into the jail and gave the inmate.
The inmate says Andrews wanted $1500, a washer and dryer and movie passes in exchange for the phone. Trujillo confirms the deputy received movie passes and tickets to Elitch’s in exchange for the phone, but nothing more.
For the next two weeks, Trujillo says he used the cellphone to call and text friends and family, update his Facebook page and surf the internet from his cell.
Asked how he could keep a cellphone and charger in his cell without being detected, Trujillo said, “We never got searched. Our rooms never got searched at all.”
Eventually, Trujillo said Deputy Andrews approached him suggesting an escape, “We started talking and he was serious, ‘I can get you out of here.’ I didn’t know what to think at first all the way until the day where it happened.”
Trujillo says the deputy agreed to engineer the escape in exchange for $500,000.
“He wanted 250 up front and 250 at the end,” said Trujillo, who said the deputy never got a dime for the escape.
According to Trujillo, Andrews wanted to contact Trujillo’s brother to handle logistics for the escape and the anticipated money exchange and other details. Trujillo said he gave the deputy a cellphone number purportedly belonging to his brother, but he said it was actually the number to the phone that had been smuggled into Trujillo’s cell.
Day after day, Trujillo says Deputy Andrews would text the phone thinking he was arranging the escape with Trujillo’s brother, when he was actually communicating with the inmate himself.
“Yeah, he’s pretty dumb,” said Trujillo.