Escaped prisoner and suspected accomplice from white supremacist gang caught after manhunt

Skylar Meade
Skylar Meade. (Image: Boise Police Department via AP)

An escaped prisoner and his alleged accomplice, both members of a white supremacist gang, have been arrested by police in the US after a massive manhunt.

Skylar Meade, the escaped inmate, and Nicholas Umphenour, the man police say shot two Idaho corrections officers to break Meade out of custody, were arrested on Thursday afternoon after a car chase.

Officials said they were caught roughly 12 hours after Meade had escaped from a hospital in Boise after Umphenour started shooting at prison officers who were taking Meade back to jail.

One of the officers shot is in a critical but stable condition, while the second has serious injuries that are not life-threatening.

A police vehicle is parked outside Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Pic: AP
The escape was staged from the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. (Image: AP)


A third corrections officer appears to have been shot by a responding police officer who mistook him for the gunman.

After Meade and Umphenour were found in Twin Falls, about 130 miles south-east of Boise, police said they were also investigating two murders that could be linked to the pair.

Idaho State Police Lieutenant Colonel Sheldon Kelley said the suspects were found driving a Honda Civic that belonged to one of the victims and that shackles were found at the scene of one of the killings.

Meade was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017 for shooting at a sheriff’s sergeant during a high-speed chase.

He had been in a type of solitary confinement because he was deemed a severe security risk.

Umphenour was released from the same prison – Idaho Maximum Security Institution – in January.

Authorities said the two were housed together at times, had mutual friends and were both members of the Aryan Knights prison gang.

Nicholas Umphenour. Pic: Boise Police Department via AP
Nicholas Umphenour. (Image: Boise Police Department via AP)


According to the US attorney’s office in Idaho, the Aryan Knights gang was formed in the mid-1990s to organise crime for its members in and outside of jail.

When one of the gang’s leaders was jailed for life in 2021 over a plot to traffic drugs and use violence to collect unpaid debts, federal prosecutors described the group as a “hate-fuelled gang (that engages) in many types of criminal activity and casts shadows of intimidation, addiction and violence over prison life”.

Source:  Sky News

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