DENVER (CBS4) – A judge on Friday morning sentenced a former Denver Sheriff’s deputy who helped an inmate break free from the Denver Jail to a six year jail term.
That was the maximum sentence for Matthew Andrews for the April 2013 crime, which he pleaded guilty to last fall. The judge also sentenced Andrews to three years of parole following the prison sentence.
The judge said anything less than the full sentence for the crime would be “unfair.”
Andrews was visibly emotional during the hearing, but didn’t speak. He whispered “I love you” to his wife when he was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
“There were text messages, as you heard, that suggested that this was for financial reasons, which we believe, and so we thought that was the appropriate sentence,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Victoria Sharp said. “You know he violated the public trust, the trust of the sheriff’s department, and it’s the only right sentence.”
Andrews admitted he helped Felix Trujillo escape from the Denver Jail on April 7. Prosecutors said he provided a sheriff’s jacket, pants, hat and utility belt, which allowed Trujillo to masquerade as a deputy and walk out of the facility. Trujillo was the first person to escape from the facility since it was built.
Andrews then drove Trujillo to an area north of Denver and dropped him off. Trujillo turned himself in to police three days later.
Andrews’ wife spoke in court, saying Andrews was a faithful man and good father. The defense said Andrews accepts complete responsibility for the crime, but argued it wasn’t about money.
In an exclusive CBS4 interview last May, Trujillo said Andrews agreed to sneak him out of jail in exchange for $500,000.
“He wanted $250,000 upfront and $250,000 in the end,” Trujillo told CBS4.
Investigators said Andrews told coworkers he had been threatened and that there was a contract out on him and his family. He resigned from his position with the Denver Sheriff’s Department last May and pleaded guilty in November to a felony charge of attempting to influence a public servant.
Trujillo is serving a 34-year sentence — 10 years for his escape and 24 for a 2012 robbery.