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May 26, 2022

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Inmate from Vancouver gets time credit in Clark County Jail escape

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

An inmate who escaped from the Clark County Jail and then tried to run from officers upon capture received credit for time served Tuesday.

However, Skyler Matthew Santillan, 35, of Vancouver, will return to prison for a prior probation violation, according to Senior Deputy Prosecutor Laurel Smith. He was originally scheduled to be transported for the violation on the day he escaped, court records show.

Santillan faced two counts of second-degree escape in Clark County Superior Court, but the charge was amended to third-degree escape and one count was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

He entered an “in re Barr” plea, meaning he pleaded guilty to the lesser related charge he didn’t commit to avoid the risk of conviction on a greater offense. Santillan’s previous convictions include second-degree assault with sexual motivation, trafficking in stolen property and third-degree rape of a child, according to court records.

Santillan was given credit for 178 days in the escape case.

His defense attorney, David Schultz, said Santillan had trusty status in the jail, which allowed him to clean and pick up trash outside of the facility.

On July 9, Santillan was coming back inside through the lower lobby of the jail when he heard officers discussing over a radio transporting him to prison, according to a probable cause affidavit. Schultz said Santillan panicked and ran.

“I think he obviously regrets the rash decision he made in that moment to do it and is willing to take responsibility for what he did,” Schultz told the judge Tuesday.

A sheriff’s deputy spotted Santillan running away from the jail in blue inmate clothing, the affidavit states. The deputy tried to stop Santillan, but he ran from the deputy and later took off his inmate shirt. The deputy lost sight of Santillan around Daniels Street, according to court records.

Officers later arrested Santillan about 3 miles away, near the 4500 block of Northeast St. James Road, the affidavit says.

After he was handcuffed and while officers were putting him in the back of a patrol car, Santillan pushed past officers and ran. Officers captured him again and took him back to the jail, the affidavit states.

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