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Document: Dougherty sibling planned Colo. escape

DENVER — One of three Pasco County siblings who was part of a multistate crime rampage and nationwide manhunt planned to escape from a Colorado jail with his sister, telling the FBI in a letter that he had enjoyed his stay, authorities said in a document released Friday.

Dylan Dougherty, 26, got out of his cell in Walsenburg, Colo., and wrote a note to his sister telling her he was going to break her out of jail, officials said.

Dylan Dougherty is now being held at the Pueblo County Jail, some 45 miles north of the jail in Walsenburg where he was being held, along with his two siblings.

Dougherty's attorney, Cobea Becker, did not immediately return phone messages.

During a Jan. 10 search, deputies found a homemade knife and letter to the FBI in his cell, according to an arrest affidavit.

Deputies also discovered that a panel in Dougherty's cell that allows access to the plumbing had been tampered with, as had the insulation just inside.

A deputy followed the plumbing to the ceiling and discovered footprints in there, and in the female section of the jail, a letter addressed to his sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, who was being held in that area.

Dylan Dougherty told his sister he planned to subdue the guards, steal their keys and escape with her.

The note stated that when the FBI received the letter, he would be long gone from the Huerfano County Jail and he would leave the tools he used to escape behind, authorities said.

"I have enjoyed staying here, so don't take any of this personal," investigators quote the note as saying.

Dylan Dougherty was able to move around so freely in the ceiling that he was able to pass the note to his sister.

Deputies discovered the note in the pod where she is being held, Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman said.

The Doughertys and their brother, Ryan Dougherty, 22, were captured in southern Colorado on Aug. 10 after a chase, capping a nationwide search.

The three siblings are accused of robbing a Valdosta, Ga., bank and firing at a police officer in Zephyrhills, who was chasing their car when one of the suspects began shooting at his cruiser, disabling it, the FBI said.

In addition to charges stemming from the crime rampage, Dylan Dougherty faces counts of conspiracy to escape and possession of contraband for the escape plan discovered during the search, authorities said.