The man sentenced to life in prison for killing Pottawattamie County Deputy Mark Burbridge in May during an escape attempt was still plotting a way to get away as he waited for his trial.
Twenty-year-old Wesley Correa-Carmenaty changed his pleas to guilty for first-degree murder, attempted murder, escape, kidnapping and other crimes Monday before his sentencing.
Major Tony Wingert of the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department says Correa-Carmenaty didn’t cause problems while being held in the Woodbury County Jail in Sioux City — but he also didn’t give up on plotting another escape.
“He was quite a prisoner. He’d make comments that he just wanted to get this behind him so he could get to Oakdale,” Wingert says. Wingert says Correa-Carmenaty said in his mail that he wanted to get to Oakdale so he could try another escape, and that information has been passed down to the Department of Corrections.
Oakdale near Iowa City is where prisoners are taken for an evaluation to determine where they will be sent in the state prison system. Wingert says the shaved Correa-Carmenaty’s head after obtaining information that he may have freed himself from handcuffs at the Pottawattamie County Jail by hiding a lock pick in his long dreadlocks.
Wingert says the state DCI agents warned them of that his hair was a possible hiding place for the lock pick. “We were able to get a full body x-ray machine — a portable one — brought into the jail. And the state had a search warrant written up,” Wingert explains. “If the x-ray tech saw anything on the x-rays that they didn’t know for sure, we were going to take his hair.”
He says during the course of the x-ray the technician saw a spot that he couldn’t confirm that there wasn’t something there, so his hair was cut by jail staff. The hair was turned over to the State division of Criminal Investigation as evidence. Major Wingert says the haircut prompted a new threat from Correa-Carmenaty.
“He was not happy with that,” Wingert says. “He made several comments that he was going to kill the DCI agent if he ever got the chance. He was not happy with losing his hair.” Correa-Carmenaty was held in the Woodbury County Jail as he awaited legal action to avoid any problems that might have occurred by returning him to the Pottawattamie County Jail where the escaped and shootings happened.
Correa-Carmenaty escaped that jail shortly after appearing in court May 1st and being sentenced to 45 years in prison on a murder charge.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)