The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Inmate's escape attempt short-lived

Woman runs about 100 yards before apprehension


July 21, 2018

CLOVIS — A Clovis woman arrested Thursday evening briefly slipped the bonds of institutional custody Friday afternoon on a walk back from the courthouse to the jail. But she only made it about 100 yards before being apprehended again.

Leeah Wilkomn, 33, is charged with battery on a peace officer and escape from custody, both fourth-degree felonies, after she allegedly "struck a detention officer in the face with a handcuff," and "very briefly escaped," while being led from a video arraignment in court around 2:45 p.m., according to Undersheriff Mike Reeves.

The Clovis woman "fled following arraignments while being transported to the detention center annex," County Manager Lance Pyle told The News. "She is being questioned by law enforcement and the matter is under investigation."

The jail's assistant detention administrator said of the incident that "you can't just try to flee from a holding facility."

"I've been in the business for quite some time and this was an unusual case, especially for the types of fines and fees she has. It's so minimal you wouldn't think she would risk that," Joe Alaniz told The News.

"She did come out of her restraints and she was apprehended probably within 100 yards of the facility."

Alaniz said jail staff "went through all the standard protocols of locking the facility down and doing an emergency count."

There were no other loose ends, Alaniz said, and Wilkomn was back in law enforcement's grip almost as soon as she had split, following a "quick foot pursuit."

Reeves wrote that she "had been recaptured almost immediately."

Wilkomn, who in court records has addresses listed in Clovis, Roswell and Dallas, was scheduled in court at 1:30 p.m. Friday for failure to appear and failure to pay fines, charges on which she had been booked into the Curry County Detention Center the evening prior. She was ordered to serve jail time in lieu of $481 in fees and fines, according to court records.

Alaniz said it would take further investigation to determine if there was an issue solely with the restraints or if other follow-up was warranted.

"Realistically, we don't know exactly what happened. This is an ongoing investigation, looking at video, getting statements," Alaniz said.


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