Suspected accomplice in jailbreak pleads not guilty

A man accused of helping another man break out of the Mesa County Jail last year may take his case to trial.

Rodney Price, 31, pleaded not guilty Friday morning in District Judge Thomas Deister’s courtroom.

A trial running over six days is scheduled to start Feb. 1, 2010.

Price is accused of helping 41-year-old Shane Johnson escape from the jail on the morning of Sept. 9, 2008.

Johnson, who authorities allege also was aided by his wife, Marilynne, 47, used a pair of hacksaw blades smuggled into the facility to cut through a steel mesh roof covering an exercise yard.

Johnson slid down the side of the building using bed sheets tied together.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Price is heard in a recorded phone conversation at the jail talking about having “four tires at two different spots for Shane, so he can switch and go,” after breaking out.

The Johnsons were arrested in January by Mexican authorities in connection with a series of residential burglaries in the Baja region of Mexico.


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