- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2020

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A Washington state inmate has been sentenced to three years imprisonment after breaking out of the Yakima County jail with 13 other inmates last month, a judge said.

Yakima County Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson sentenced 27-year-old Scott Fidencio Lopez after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree escape and an unrelated charge of second-degree unlawful firearms possession, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.

The firearms case stems from his arrest in February following a high-speed chase where deputies found methamphetamine, a scale and two rifles in his vehicle, authorities said.

Lopez pleaded guilty in exchange for dropped drug possession and reckless driving charges, prosecutors said.

Lopez and 13 other inmates escaped March 23 after a riot where inmates used a table to break open an exterior fire door and climb over a fence to the outside, authorities said. Lopez was one of the few captured within the first 15 minutes of the jailbreak.

Apprehended inmates told investigators that they fled because they were worried about contracting the coronavirus, County Department of Corrections’ Chief of Operations Jeremy Welch said.

All but two inmates are facing escape charges in state court, prosecutors said, adding that two are federal prisoners and will be heard in federal court.

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