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Couple Pleads Guilty in L.A. Jailbreak Plot

October 15, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

A husband and wife pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to helping an accused murderer prepare to escape from the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

In a plea agreement, Thomas Tynan and his wife, Sabrina, admitted to providing an assortment of cutting tools, two cellular phones and a supply of marijuana to Russian national Iouri Mikhel, who is awaiting trial in the kidnap-murders of five Southern California businesspeople.

Mikhel and Thomas Tynan were cellmates in the 10-story inmate lockup. Authorities said Mikhel offered Tynan $1 million to help him escape, and that Tynan recruited his wife and brother, Michael, to bring the contraband to an outer wall of the detention center on two occasions. Mikhel then allegedly lowered a rope from his cell and hauled up the items, which were packed in a pillowcase and a duffel bag.

Michael Tynan pleaded guilty last week, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. David Vaughn. All three Tynans are to be sentenced early next year.

The jailbreak scheme was broken up March 7 when guards searched Mikhel's cell and allegedly found hacksaw blades, glass cutters, bolt cutters, pliers, wrenches, box cutters and, hidden behind a mirror, a large hole that led to a stairwell.

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