Crime

Two Canyon County jail escapees captured near jail, back in custody

Ian Benoit, left, and Brandon Luna.
Ian Benoit, left, and Brandon Luna.

Brandon James Luna and Ian Michael Benoit escaped from the Canyon County Jail on Tuesday morning by climbing over the outdoor recreation area fence.

Luna’s escape was a brief one. He was apprehended about two hours after he fled.

Officers using a dog tracked Luna in the crawl space of a house on the 1100 block of Denver Street about two blocks from the jail. After Luna did not respond to commands to surrender, officer sent the dog into the crawl space to apprehend him. Luna sustained multiple dog bites while be apprehended along with cuts from going over the fence. He was treated at a local hospital before being taken back to jail.

Benoit’s escape was even briefer. He was captured immediately after scaling the fence following a brief struggle with a deputy.

Benoit suffered a lower leg injury as he went over the fence and attempted to flee.

Both inmates were housed in the minimum security tent jail.

Luna, 27, has been in custody since Oct. 18 on one felony charge, possession of a controlled substance, and five misdemeanor charges: possession of paraphernalia (two counts), driving without privileges, failure to provide proof of insurance and carrying a concealed weapon without a license.

Benoit, 19, has been in custody since Oct. 22 on felony possession of a controlled substance and two misdemeanors, possession of paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon without a license.

For more than a decade, Canyon County commissioners and the sheriff have been struggling to find a way to remedy the jail’s overcrowding and poor conditions.

Sheriff Kieran Donahue and the commissioners have disagreed about how to expand the jail: whether they should build an addition or an entirely new jail.

Donahue said moving the 86 inmates housed in the tent facility will prove trickier than simply marching rehousing them in the jail or releasing them early.

In the past year, there have been five escapes from the tent jail involving seven inmates:

Nov. 1, 2016: Brandon Luna and Ian Benoit scaled the tent jail’s outdoor recreation area fence. Both were recaptured that day.

Oct. 1, 2016: Jeffery Duvall and Juan Cervantes scaled a wall into the tent jail’s kitchen and escaped by breaking through an emergency fire door. Both were recaptured three days later.

July 31, 2016: Abel Garcia scaled the tent jail’s outdoor recreation area fence. He was recaptured two days later.

Jan. 30, 2016: Jose Coronado cut through the tent jail with a jail-issued razor. He was recaptured one week later

Dec. 5, 2015: Jose Cuevas scaled the tent jail’s outdoor recreation area fence. He was recaptured the next morning.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell

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