Home News UPDATE: New information emerges as inmate cop-killer returned to jail

UPDATE: New information emerges as inmate cop-killer returned to jail

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A Nebraska inmate accused of killing a Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy has been captured and transferred to a different facility as of Wednesday, according to officials.

25-year-old Wesley Correa-Carmenaty was already in custody for multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter and second-degree robbery before his attempted escape.

On May 1st, while on his way to jail aboard a prisoner transport, Correa-Carmenate made statements to a female prisoner that he was going to get out of jail and that they should spend time together when they are out of prison. During this time, he managed to unshackle his leg shackles.

Upon arrival at the sally port, Deputies Mark Burbridge and Pat Morgan began the process of removing the prisoners, with Morgan walking the female prisoner to the jail intake door. Seeing his chance, Correa-Carmenaty assaulted Burbridge, attempting to steal the van.

As Burbridge tried to stop Correa-Carmenaty, the fugitive took possession of the deputy’s pistol and shot Burbridge in the head, killing him instantly before turning the weapon on Morgan and shooting him as well.

After shooting both deputies, Correa-Carmenaty took both deputies’ weapons, ammunition and the keys to the van, which he used to flee the scene- but not before using the vehicle to cause over $10,000 in damage to the facility.

As he fled, he was spotted by a Nebraska Corrections Officer Jerry Brittain, who Correa-Carmenaty attempted to carjack, non-fatally shooting the officer in the neck. In a later interview with authorities, Correa-Carmenaty admits he attempted to carjack the truck, but continued in the transport van instead.

On his third carjacking attempt, Correa-Carmenaty managed to seize a sedan, but discovered that the vehicle was a manual transmission and forced the driver -identified as Amy Kanger- to drive him to Omaha.

Eventually, Kanger convinced Correa-Carmenaty to let her out, which is when she managed to notify law enforcement, leading to his recapture.

According to KETV, Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew said eight deputies transported Correa-Carmenaty to his facility Wednesday. He will be placed in segregation on charges of:

  • First-degree murder of Deputy Mark Burbridge
  • Attempted murder of Deputy Pat Morgan
  • First-degree robbery of the Pottawattamie County Jail transport van
  • Escape from custody
  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Attempted murder of Jerry Brittain
  • First-degree robbery for attempted carjacking of Brittain’s vehicle
  • Intimidation with a dangerous weapon for shooting in Brittain’s vehicle
  • Second-degree kidnapping of Amy Kanger
  • First-degree carjacking of Kanger’s vehicle

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Earlier:

As Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Burbridge was laid to rest Monday, the man accused of killing him is awaiting extradition back to Iowa to face a charge of first-degree murder.

Wesley Correa-Carmenaty, 24, is accused of killing Burbridge May 1 at the Pottawattamie County Jail in an attempt to escape custody after being sentenced earlier that day to 45 years for manslaughter. Correa-Carmenaty is also charged with shooting a second deputy, Patrick Morgan, who has since been released from the hospital.

In addition, Correa-Carmenaty faces charges of attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man while trying to carjack him, and then kidnapping a woman and making her drive him to Omaha. The attempted carjacking victim, Jerry Brittain of Council Bluffs, a corrections officer in Omaha, has since been released from the hospital. The kidnapped woman, who has declined to speak with the media, was not injured during her time with Correa-Carmenaty.

The events of May 1 began at 11 a.m. Correa-Carmenaty was being returned to jail when he attacked Burbridge and Morgan, getting one of the deputy’s firearms and shooting them both, according to authorities. Burbridge died from his wounds an hour later.

Correa-Carmenaty is accused of stealing the prison van and driving it through the garage door. At the intersection of North 16th Street and Big Lake Road, he attempted to carjack Brittain at gunpoint. Brittain resisted and was shot by Correa-Carmenaty, police said.

Correa-Carmenaty got back in the van, drove to the intersection of North 25th Street and Avenue I where he carjacked the woman and drove to Omaha.

After dropping her off at a liquor store, police closed in on Correa-Carmenaty, eventually capturing him near Cuming Street and I-480.

As of Monday, Correa-Carmenaty was still being held in the Douglas County Jail. He will be held in the Woodbury County Jail in Sioux City, within a week, Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew said Friday.

Drew said his staff has housed people accused of murder before, and Correa-Carmenaty should be treated like any other inmate.

Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said Correa-Carmenaty is being held elsewhere due to the liability if the suspect was hurt while incarcerated. Another reason is the possible effect he could have on jail personnel close to Burbridge or Morgan.

“It’s not conducive to their healing process to have to feed and care for and secure the inmate under these circumstances,” Wilber said Thursday.

He is expected to be in court later this week to face his charges, Wilber said. Unless Correa-Carmenaty waives his right to a speedy trial, the case would go to trial by mid-August, Wilber said.

The Douglas County Attorney’s Office has dismissed the charges it filed against Correa-Carmenaty so he could be returned to Iowa. The office has the option to refile the charges within three years.

The Nebraska charges are kidnapping, use of a firearm to commit a felony, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest. Correa-Carmenaty’s bail on those charges was $10 million.

Burbridge’s funeral on Monday was held at the Mid-America Center, with thousands in attendance, including many law enforcement officers who came to pay their respects. The funeral followed a public visitation over the weekend.

– BH News Service contributed to this report.

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