Court records: Brown County Jail inmate had help in escape

Court documents say the scheme was caught on surveillance cameras
Published: Sep. 9, 2022 at 4:40 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2022 at 5:09 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - We’re learning new information about the Brown County Jail escape as the inmate who was recaptured earlier this week made his initial hearing Friday.

Justin Dietrich and another inmate, Justice Thibodeaux, were the last two to face a court commissioner. Prosecutors say Dietrich escaped through the kitchen area with Thibodeaux’s help.

Thibodeaux told investigators he knew Dietrich from outside the jail and suggested Dietrich get inside a breakfast cart. Court documents say the escape was caught on surveillance video. Dietrich hid in a metal kitchen cart that Thibodeaux pushed to a non-secure part of the jail so Dietrich could escape through the loading dock.

Dietrich was free for about 36 hours between Monday morning and late Tuesday night. He was recaptured by the Brown County Drug Task Force with assistance from a police K9.

After his capture, Dietrich told deputies he started planning the escape after getting a bad letter from his girlfriend and admitted receiving help.

“The defendant confessed to escaping from the Brown County Jail. We don’t think he was a public safety risk when he escaped, but certainly, his actions from escaping demonstrates he wasn’t going to comply with court order,” Assistant District Attorney Natalie Mulvey told the court.

A court commissioner set Dietrich’s bond at $20,000 on a charge of escaping criminal arrest, which could lead to 6 years in a state prison. As we’ve reported, he’s serving a probation sentence until mid-December for domestic violence disorderly conduct and was also being held on bond while facing drug charges.

Thibodeaux is charged with conspiracy to harbor or aid a felon, which carries up to 3 1/2 years in prison. “He was willing to assist another inmate in escaping. Additionally he has this significant recent record and pending a felony file in another county where he hasn’t made an initial appearance yet,” Mulvey said.

Thibodeaux’s bond was set at $5,000 cash.

A fellow inmate who prosecutors say helped Dietrich escape also appeared in court
Justin Dietrich made his initial appearance after being recaptured