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Deputy sentenced to six years for helping robber escape from jail

Matthew-J-Andrews

DENVER — A former Denver sheriff’s deputy who helped an inmate escape from jail was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.

Matthew Andrews, 37, had already pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public servant, a class four felony. Six years is the maximum sentence, but he is eligible for parole in three years.

“This is a terribly difficult sentence for me, because you are a good man,” Judge William Robbins told Andrews. “…Better was expected of you. To whom much is given, much is expected, it’s true.”

The sentence wraps up a strange case in which convicted home-invasion robber Felix Trujillo escaped from the Downtown Denver Detention Center while wearing the deputy’s coat and hat in April of 2013.

Andrews drove Trujillo to Thornton and released him, according to an affidavit. Andrews then returned to the jail in tears and told coworkers what had happened.

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

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.

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.

Kolin Lawler contributed to this article.

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