BOZEMAN, Mont - A Gallatin County judge set bond at $1 million for a Bozeman rape suspect who escaped custody and spent close to three weeks on the run.
Deputies returned Kevin Briggs, 28, to Bozeman on Monday to face charges related to an alleged rape attempt and assault back on February 1. Briggs faces four felony charges that include aggravated assault, attempted sexual intercourse without consent, escape and assault on peace officer.
Briggs was in custody for about two hours before Bozeman police left him alone in an unlocked interview room. Briggs was able to escape the interview room and flee from police.
Two Bozeman police officers were suspended two weeks without pay after an internal investigation.
The manhunt started at the Law and Justice Center when Briggs walked out of the front doors on the morning of February 1. It ended weeks later when U.S. Marshals captured Briggs in Portland, Ore., on February 21.
But the case does not end with Briggs. Authorities are investigating the people who reportedly helped Briggs as he dodged authorities. There are still many questions about how Briggs managed to travel some 750 miles to the west before being captured. On Tuesday Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert addressed these questions.
"I know four, perhaps five requests for prosecution for obstructing justice for those persons that aided Mr. Briggs in his alleged escape," said Lambert.
In court on Tuesday morning Lambert called Briggs clever in the way he dodged authorities.
"He is an extreme flight risk," said Lambert.
We know that Briggs had acquaintances in Missoula, where he was spotted at the bus station, just a day after fleeing the Law and Justice Center. Missoula Police told us Briggs had approached an acquaintance and asked if he could stay, but say Briggs was turned away.
At Justice Court on Tuesday, Lambert asked Judge Bryan Adams for a $1 million bond and the judge agreed.
"I cannot recall a person who is a greater risk not to attend future court proceedings than this defendant, and so that particular element I think calls for an increase in bail," said Lambert.
Lambert said anyone who helped Briggs in his alleged escape could face charges of obstructing justice. However Lambert says so far there is no timetable for charges that may be filed.
As for Kevin Briggs, a preliminary hearing has been set for March 28.
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