Charges filed for five accused of helping Kevin Briggs escape


Charges filed for five accused of helping Kevin Briggs escape

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Bozeman Police detectives said they pieced together who helped Kevin Briggs get out of Bozeman, and ultimately, out of the state. Monday afternoon, County Attorney Marty Lambert officially filed charges against five people.

"They all knew him personally or had met him before," said Detective Dana McNeil, who's been on the Briggs case from the very beginning.

Briggs sparked a manhunt when he walked out of the Bozeman Law and Justice Center handcuffed and shackled on February 1.

Bozeman Police arrested him during an investigation in to a reported attempted rape, and assault. But an oversight left Briggs unmonitored in an unlocked room, and he took off.

McNeil said the five alleged accomplices -- Andrew Kranker, Tristan Anacker, William Smith, Sherry Jackson and Cedric Standish-Codding -- all helped in different ways.

"Grinding off the restraints that he was in with the use of a Dremel tool, providing him money, arranging transportation and concealing some of that evidence," McNeil explained.

When Briggs left the Law and Justice Center, McNeil said he showed up on the doorstep of Kranker and Anacker's apartment on South 16th, just blocks away, in his full restraints.

According to charging documents, Briggs said police had beaten him up. But a least a couple of the those five people admitted to seeing the MSU text alert.

"They made statements to us about what Mr. Briggs had told them," McNeil said. But he added, "It was pretty evident that they were aware that he was in trouble with law enforcement."

Court documents state Briggs used the internet to search how to escape from handcuffs. But Kranker had a Dremel tool, and Standish-Codding reportedly used it to cut off Briggs' restraints.

Documents then outline that Sherry Jackson threw the restraints in a nearby dumpster, and Standish-Codding gave Briggs money.

Briggs was reportedly at the apartment for six hours, before taking off for Missoula.

Smith apparently drove Briggs to Missoula, where he was caught on surveillance catching a bus the next morning to leave the state.

"They did not come forward, this was the result of an investigation that identified them," McNeil explained, about how forthcoming Briggs' alleged accomplices were about the situation.

All five are charged with a felony Obstruction of Justice.

McNeil tells us they are working with U.S. Marshals to determine what other kind of help Briggs had while he remained on the run for nearly three weeks.

He allegedly made his way across the northwest and possibly down to California, eventually ending in Portland, Oregon, where he was captured.

McNeil said any charges against possible out-of-state accomplices will have to be filed by prosecutors in those jurisdictions.

The man who allegedly cut off the restraints, Cedric Standish-Codding, is no stranger to police. Standish-Codding is serving a 3-year deferred sentence for burglary.

Police arrested him in November of 2011 after a break-in at a home, where $60,000 of Arcteryx clothing went missing.

He's alleged to have violated probation several times -- including a reported DUI, possession of marijuana and illegal drug use. Most of those charges have since been dismissed.

But his most recent violation is the obstruction of justice charge for allegedly helping Briggs.

Standish-Codding is already in jail, and has a court hearing this week on a petition to revoke that deferred sentence.

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