Escaped Idaho Inmate And Accomplice Taken Into Custody

(Photo via Boise PD)
(Photo via Boise Police Dept.)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:12 PM – Thursday, March 21, 2024

An inmate and his accomplice, who helped him escape from a hospital in Boise, Idaho, have now been captured after authorities prompted a manhunt. 


Skylar Meade, the escaped inmate, and his accomplice, Nicholas Umphenour, who shot two Idaho police officers and helped him escape, were finally arrested during a traffic stop in Twin Falls, Idaho. 

At a press conference on Thursday, the authorities announced that they had been alerted about two murders that occurred in the counties of Nez Perce and Clearwater, where a 2020 Honda Civic vehicle was seen speeding away.

However, the car was eventually discovered to be driven by both Skyler Meade and Nicholas Umphenour.

“That’s one of the ways we tied them together,” said Idaho State Police Lieutenant Colonel Sheldon Kelley. 

Additionally, Kelley added that the handcuffs believed to have been worn by Meade were discovered at the scene of one of the murders.

“What we know, with near certainty, is that this was not an accident,” said Josh Tewalt, director of the Corrections Department. “This was a planned event. And we’re channeling every resource we have into trying to understand exactly how they went about planning it.”

Early on Wednesday, at around 2:15 a.m., State Corrections Department officers were attempting to transfer the inmate, Meade, back to the corrections facility after he was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for treatment.

According to police, as they were preparing to transfer Meade, another suspect, who was later identified as Nicholas Umphenor, fired shots at them and injured two officers. One officer had non-life-threatening injuries, while the other was stable but still in critical condition. Meade was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2017 for firing multiple shots at law enforcement officers during a high-speed chase while evading a traffic stop. He then entered a guilty plea to charges of aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, unlawful firearm possession by a convicted felon, and jailhouse possession of a shank.

Meade and Umphenour are both reportedly “Aryan Knights” gang members, according to the authorities, who described them as “one of multiple security threat groups that we monitor and try to interrupt their activities.” 

Additionally, Umphenour, the accomplice, already completed his sentencing, which he served “on and off” at an Idaho maximum security facility from December 29, 2022, to January 17, 2024, when he was released, according to Tewalt.

“Their gang involvement doesn’t necessarily indicate that this was some sort of gang-sanctioned event,” Tewalt said Thursday.

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