Weather Forecast

Click for Wauneta, Nebraska Forecast

Dundy County jail prisoner charged with felony escape, theft, burglary and criminal mischief PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 09 April 2015 00:00

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


A Steele City, Neb., man has been charged with a string of felonies after allegedly escaping from the Dundy County jail in the early morning hours Monday. Prisoner Jonathan C. Speth, 18, allegedly stole items from  individuals in Benkelman and Enders and allegedly attempted a break-in at Wauneta Crossroads before his eventual capture in McCook later that morning.


Escapes from Dundy County jail

According to Dundy County Sheriff Justin Nichols, Speth was taken into custody at the Dundy County jail at approximately 9:30 a.m. MT on Sunday, April 5.

According to Dundy County Court documents, Speth was arrested and taken into custody by Nebraska State Trooper Daniel Thompson for alleged possession of stolen property. Speth had allegedly stolen a 1998 Jeep Wrangler from Harley Scott in Funk, Neb., on April 4.

On the evening of April 5, while in the Dundy County jail, Speth tampered with a television, causing it to fall on the floor and break.

Later, after the broken television had been cleaned up and replaced by Dundy County Deputy Sheriff Shane Fiorelli, Speth turned on the cell’s shower and ran it for a “lengthy time.”

According to the court documents, Deputy Fiorelli checked on the running water at approximately 12:19 a.m. on Monday, April 6. The deputy found water flooding the cell and called out to Speth, who appeared to be sleeping on a cot in the cell.

Deputy Fiorelli entered the cell to investigate the water on the cell floor and discovered a broken water pipe in the shower.

After shutting off the water, Deputy Fiorelli and dispatcher/jailer Carolyn Graham entered the cell to mop up the water within the cell.

At a later point, Speth exited the jail cell and locked Deputy Fiorelli and Graham in the cell.

The Dundy County Sheriff indicated Speth left the jail at approximately 12:45 a.m. MT on Monday, April 6.

Court documents state Speth then fled the courthouse and allegedly stole a 1982 Chevrolet pickup owned by Mike Clark of Benkelman.


Thefts en route to Wauneta

Dundy County Court documents state Speth then drove north in rural Dundy County where he allegedly entered the home of Rodney Keiser. He allegedly stole an iPhone 5 from within Keiser’s home as well as a backpack and phone charger from Keiser’s car. Keiser confirmed no other items were found missing.

After leaving Keiser’s home south of Enders, Speth allegedly traveled to the home of Calvin Clermont in Enders.

According to a press release issued by Chase County Sheriff Kevin Mueller, Speth allegedly entered the Clermont home and took keys to a 1996 Mercury Mystique. Clermont said the keys to the vehicle were on the kitchen counter when they went to bed.

Speth allegedly took a .22 caliber handgun from the dash of Clermont’s unlocked pickup.

Clermont said other items missing from his pickup included cash from his wallet, a pocket knife, sweatshirt, mag flashlight and pack of cigarettes. He also stated all the vehicles on his property were “gone through” but that no other items were noticed missing.

The 1982 Chevrolet pickup was found on the east edge of Clermont’s property. Speth allegedly took the Mercury Mystique owned by Clermont and Nichole Sailors.

Attempted break-in at
Wauneta Crossroads

Video surveillance at Wauneta Crossroads showed a man in an orange jumpsuit stopping at the gas pumps, moving to the store’s front door and firing two rounds into the door.

The tape then showed the man attempting to break the glass with a flashlight. According to the Chase County Sheriff’s release, the person then went back to the vehicle and fired one more round into the window. The vehicle then drove away heading east on Highway 6.

Chase County Deputy Justin Mueller arrived on the scene at Wauneta Crossroads at approximately 1:50 a.m. MT on Monday, April 6 after being dispatched in response to an alarm.

Deputy Mueller entered the building and found no one had gained entrance.

Manager Angie West confirmed that no entry was made to Wauneta Crossroads and no damages were made other than to the door and window of the store.


Captured in McCook

McCook Police Chief Isaac Brown said the McCook Police Department was aware of an escape from the Dundy County jail. At approximately 2:30 a.m. MT, the McCook Police Department received a call from a concerned citizen that a male in an orange jumpsuit was on Norris Avenue.

McCook police officers were dispatched to the 300 block of Norris Avenue where they observed a male wearing an orange jumpsuit walking with a flashlight in one hand and a handgun in the other.

McCook police officers took Speth into custody without any incident. At the time of the arrest, Speth was near a Mercury Mystique, which was impounded and later returned to Clermont and Sailors. According to Chase County Sheriff Kevin Mueller, the arrest took place at approximately 2:52 a.m. MT.


Charges pending

As of Tuesday, Speth was housed in the Red Willow County jail.

Speth has been charged with eight counts in the Dundy County Court. Charges include: theft by receiving stolen property, a class III felony; escape, a class III felony; theft by receiving stolen property, a class III felony; burglary, a class III felony, criminal mischief, a class IV felony; criminal mischief, a class I misdemeanor; obstruction of a peace officer, a class I misdemeanor and flight to avoid arrest, a class I misdemeanor.

Chase County charges were still pending as of Tuesday morning. Sheriff Mueller stated the Sheriff’s office was working to get a warrant for Speth’s arrest for burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, felony criminal mischief and use of a firearm to commit a felony.

In Red Willow County, Speth was charged with possession of stolen property.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 18:10