Grand Jury Indicts Joel Elliott For Attempted Escape
A man who was sentenced to 37 years imprisonment last month for trying to torch the Sheridan County Attorney's office in 2014 has been indicted again, this time for trying to escape the jail three days before his sentencing, according to court records.
A federal grand jury indicted Joel Elliott last week, charging him with one count of attempting to escape from custody in the Natrona County Detention Center.
If convicted, he could face up to five years imprisonment in addition to what he is serving in the federal system. And that term is consecutive for prison time being served in Wyoming.
The attempted escape occurred about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, when Elliott tried to get out of a secure location within the jail during a snowstorm. The area was never breached, and there were no injuries to the inmate or to the deputies that apprehended him, according to the Natrona County Sheriff's Office.
Three days later, U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl handed down the 37-year sentence.
In October, a jury found Elliott guilty of arson by means of an explosive of a building receiving federal funds creating a substantial risk of injury; using a firearm (in this case an incendiary bomb) during a crime of violence of a building receiving federal funds; possession of an unregistered firearm, namely a improvised incendiary bomb; and false declaration before a grand jury.
This case began a year-and-a-half earlier when Elliott was about to plead guilty to forgery in Sheridan County Court, and he was afraid of losing his gun rights as a result, according to court records.
The Sheridan County Attorney’s Office also was prosecuting him for felony stalking of a former girlfriend, and Elliott was mad at two prosecutors who were friends of the woman.
So early June 4, 2014, he poured gasoline throughout the county attorney building and ignited it with a small homemade bomb a few hours later when he thought the gas and air mixture would have caused an explosion. The fire caused $900,000 in damage. No one was injured.