Man Charged with Aiding Escape Arrested

By Beacon Staff

BOZEMAN — A Montana man charged with driving the suspect in an assault and attempted rape to Missoula after he escaped police custody in Bozeman has been arrested.

William Michael Smith of Bozeman was arrested Tuesday by police in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. He remained jailed there on Wednesday.

Smith, 29, was one of five people charged Monday with obstruction of justice for aiding Kevin Briggs after his Feb. 1 escape. Briggs, 28, was arrested Feb. 21 in Portland, Ore.

Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert said Smith was in custody in Bozeman from Feb. 6 — when he told the FBI he’d given Briggs a ride to Missoula — until March 20, when he was returned to Shoshone County in Idaho on a warrant alleging he violated his probation in a drug case. He was released from jail in Wallace on April 8. A $100,000 warrant was issued for Smith’s arrest after the charges were filed.

Two of Smith’s co-defendants appeared in court on Wednesday.

Sherry Michelle Jackson pleaded not guilty to felony obstructing justice. Prosecutors say she threw Briggs’ handcuffs and shackles in a dumpster and monitored news coverage of the search for Briggs. District Court Judge John Brown set her bail at $10,000.

Allen Standish-Codding denied seven probation violations, one of which alleges he used a Dremel tool to cut Briggs’ out of his handcuffs and leg shackles. He has not entered a plea on the obstruction charge. Brown set Standish-Codding’s bail at $50,000. He has been jailed since March 11.

Briggs is charged with aggravated assault and attempted sexual intercourse without consent after his ex-girlfriend reported he attacked her. Briggs also is charged with assault on a peace officer, escape and failing to register as a sex offender while he was on the run. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains jailed with bail set at $1 million.

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