Cops: Dougherty sibling planned escape from jail

Dylan Stanley Dougherty awaits advisement at the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office detention center in Pueblo, Colo., Aug. 11, 2011.
AP Photo/The Pueblo Chieftain

Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET

DENVER - One of three siblings who was part of a multistate crime spree and nationwide manhunt planned to escape from a Colorado jail with his sister, telling the FBI in a letter that he had enjoyed his stay, authorities said in a document released Friday.

Dylan Dougherty, 26, got out of his cell in Walsenburg, Colo., and wrote a note to his sister telling her he was going to break her out of jail, officials said. Dylan Dougherty is now being held at the Pueblo County Jail, some 45 miles north of the jail in Walsenburg where he was being held.

Dougherty's attorney, Cobea Becker, or Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman did not immediately return phone messages.

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During a Jan. 10 search, deputies found a homemade knife and letter to the FBI in his cell, according to an arrest affidavit.

Deputies also discovered that a panel in Dougherty's cell that allows access to the plumbing had been tampered with, as had the insulation just inside. A deputy followed the plumbing to the ceiling and discovered footprints in there, and in the female section of the jail, a letter addressed to his sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, who was being held in that area.

Dylan Dougherty told his sister he planned to subdue the guards, steal their keys and escape with her. The note stated that when the FBI received the letter, he would be long gone from the Huerfano County Jail and he would leave the tools he used to escape behind, authorities said.

"I have enjoyed staying here, so don't take any of this personal," investigators quote the note as saying.

"The letter stated for Lee to have all her personal belongings ready, and that Dylan was going to get in through the ceiling to the control room where the detention staff are, and drop down on them," according to the affidavit. "He stated he would then tie them up and take the keys from them, and then they would just walk out."

The Doughertys and their brother, Ryan Dougherty, 22, were captured in southern Colorado on Aug. 10 after a chase, capping a nationwide search. It's not immediately clear where Ryan Dougherty and Lee Grace Dougherty are now being held.

The three siblings are accused of robbing a Valdosta, Ga., bank and firing at a police officer in Zephyrhills, Fla., who was chasing their car when one of the suspects began shooting at his cruiser, disabling it, the FBI said.

In the Colorado chase, shots were fired at officers before the suspects' car rolled and crashed into a guardrail, authorities said.

Lee Grace Dougherty is set to go on trial Feb. 21 on attempted second-degree murder, assault and other charges related to the chase.

The brothers were granted a stay in proceedings until Monday, so federal and Florida prosecutors can decide how to proceed in the case.

In addition to charges stemming from the crime spree, Dylan Dougherty faces counts of conspiracy to escape and possession of contraband for the escape plan discovered during the search, authorities said.