Member of Idaho Gang Who Attempted Prison Break in Court

A preliminary hearing was held on April 8 for the inmate charged with escaping custody at an Idaho hospital last month after an accomplice opened fire on corrections officers escorting him back to prison, the Associated Press reported.

Boise Police Department violent crimes detective Matthew Canfield told the magistrate judge in the preliminary hearing of inmate Skyler Meade that hospital security cameras captured much of the ambush when accomplice Nicholas Umphenour opened fire on the three officers escorting Meade.

Meade has been charged with escaping from the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise in the early hours of March 20 with the help of Umphenour.

Umphanour and another suspect, Tia Garcia, have also been charged in the case. Their preliminary hearings are both scheduled for April 29. Garcia is accused of providing the vehicle Meade and Umphenour used to make their escape.

Prosecutors submitted the surveillance video as an exhibit but did not play it at last Monday’s hearing.

Magistrate Judge Abraham Wingrove determined that there was sufficient evidence to send Meade’s case to the district court and scheduled his arraignment for April 17.

According to Detective Canfield, the security footage showed the corrections officers escorting Meade from the ER to a prison transport van in the ambulance bay when Umphenour approached and fired five rounds. Meade and Umphenour are seen on surveillance video running to a parked vehicle and fleeing the scene.

Meade had been transported to the hospital from Idaho Maximum Security Institution in Kuna where he was serving 20 years for a 2017 conviction. However, once at the ER, Meade refused treatment.

Two of the corrections officers with wounded in the ambush. The third was inadvertently shot by Boise police who mistook him for the shooter. All three are expected to recover.

Meade and Umphenour were arrested in Twin Falls 36 hours later.

Meade and Umphenour are also suspected of killing two men while on the run following the ambush. As yet, no charges have been filed.

Officials from the Idaho Department of Correction said the pair are both members of the white supremacist prison gang the Aryan Knights.

Umpanour was released from the Idaho Maximum Security Institution in January after serving time for gun and theft convictions. He and Meade were housed together for a time and are said to have mutual friends both in prison and on the outside.

A fourth suspect in the case, Tonia Huber, was charged with harboring a fugitive, drug possession, and eluding police.