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Former Denver deputy pleads guilty to helping inmate escape

(Photo: Denver Sheriff's Office)

(Photo: Denver Sheriff's Office)

DENVER — The former Denver sheriff’s deputy accused of helping an inmate escape from the downtown detention center has pleaded guilty, and now may be staring down jail time himself.

Matthew Andrews pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony, in a Denver District Court on Friday morning, in connection with the escape of convicted home-invasion robber Felix Trujillom who reportedly exited the Downtown Detention Center while wearing a deputy’s coat and hat in April.

Andrews is now scheduled for a sentencing hearing on Jan. 24. He could face between probation and six years in prison.

After he escaped, Trujillo was driven by Andrews to Thornton and released, according to an affidavit. Andrews then returned to the jail and told coworkers what had happened.

Trujillo, 24, turned himself in after three days on the run. He has since been sentenced to 34 years in prison for the escape and a 2012 robbery.

Andrews initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, saying that someone threatened his family if he refused to help Trujillo. Andrews’ lawyer claimed that an unidentified man pointed a gun at the deputy, telling him that his life would also be in danger if he didn’t go along.

Prosecutors seemed prepared to argue that Andrews was offered money to help the felon escape, but those arguments were not made before Andrews’ plea deal was accepted.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s tone was cordial in explaining the deal, saying Andrews “is eligible for probation and we are hoping for that outcome.”

FOX31 Denver’s Kolin Lawler contributed to this report