From the archives: Woman who helped convicted murderer escape prison returns to Kansas

·3 min read

This story was originally published on March 3, 2006.

Toby Young is back in Kansas, but it was not clear Thursday when she might see any more of it than the view from a Leavenworth County jail cell.

Bail was set at $100,000 earlier Thursday for Young, the prison volunteer accused of helping convicted killer John M. Manard escape from the Lansing Correctional Facility last month.

She could be released from jail by posting the $100,000 in cash, which she would get back later if she showed up for court. Or she could pay a fee of 10 percent through a bail-bond company that would assure her court appearance.

Bail was set Thursday afternoon in Leavenworth County District Court, less than 24 hours after Young returned to Kansas from a Tennessee jail cell and a few hours after she made her first court appearance in Leavenworth.

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A few hours later, Manard was returned to the Lansing Correctional Facility, arriving shortly before 8 p.m. He was accompanied by three corrections officers who drove him back from Tennessee, where Manard and Young were captured last Friday.

“I’ve heard of no problems associated with the transport of John Manard today,” corrections spokesman Bill Miskell said Thursday night.

Young came back to the area on a commercial flight through Kansas City International airport, said Leonard L. Ayres, executive director for the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Department, arriving late Wednesday night.

Deputies from the Leavenworth County sheriff’s office escorted Young on the flight, and there were no reported problems, Ayres said.

Young made her first appearance in Leavenworth County District Court at 9 a.m. Thursday on charges of aiding and abetting aggravated escape and aiding a felon. At the hearing she told the judge she did not have an attorney. She is scheduled to have her first appearance with an attorney at 9 a.m. today.

Her attorney, Jim Yoakum, said Thursday evening that he was not sure whether Young would be able to make bail. But, he said, “she is very fortunate because she was in a dangerous situation and she was delivered safely from that spot. She is back in Kansas now and close to her family. All things considered, she is fortunate to be where she is.”

Yoakum said he was working on a vigorous defense for her against the charges.

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Under Kansas sentencing guidelines, someone with no previous criminal history - such as Young - could expect to be placed on probation. State and federal authorities, however, have not ruled out additional charges against her.

The outlook is considerably bleaker for Manard, who was already serving a life sentence for murder.

Before his escape, his earliest possible prison release date was 2018. If convicted of aggravated escape from custody, an additional 10 years, 10 months could be added to that under Kansas sentencing guidelines for someone with three or more prior felony convictions, Miskell said.

Additionally, federal authorities were investigating possible charges against Manard for being a felon in possession of firearms. Manard also will lose many of the prison privileges he enjoyed before his escape. He will now spend 23 hours a day inside his cell.

Manard will have a thorough medical and mental health assessment, Miskell said.

The Kansas Department of Corrections typically holds an inmate at the closest prison to the court in which the inmate is being charged. “When we are obviously this close to the Leavenworth County District Court, the likelihood is good that during the time that those court proceedings are occurring he will be held at the Lansing Correctional Facility,” Miskell said.

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A decision where Manard serves the remainder of his sentence will depend on the outcome of the case, Miskell said.

Manard, in prison for a 1996 Johnson County murder, escaped from the Lansing Correctional Facility on Feb. 12. Authorities say he hid in a van driven by Young, a prison volunteer.

Young was well known to prison staff from her work with the Safe Harbor Prison Dogs program, and authorities said a guard did not inspect the van when it left the prison with Manard on board. The guard was fired last week.

The upcoming ‘Dateline’ story — titled “Breakout” — features interviews with Toby Dorr (Young) and David McKune, who was the warden at Lansing Correctional Facility when the escape happened. It is scheduled to air Friday at 9 p.m.

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