The New Richmond man charged with vehicular homicide in the July death of a 39-year-old Stillwater man faces new charges after setting in motion plans to escape from jail, possibly with help from a former inmate, according to a criminal complaint filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court.
Brandon Michael Lieffring, 37, was charged with felony attempting escape and misdemeanor criminal damage to property after a jail informant alerted authorities to Lieffring's activities in his cell, according to charging documents. Both charges carry the repeater modifier.
Upon inspection, the complaint states, investigators found a smoke detector grate was loose and one of the bars on the window had a cut roughly 1/4 inch deep across the entire bar.
Lieffring was in jail on charges of first-degree reckless homicide, homicide by use of a vehicle — controlled substance, fleeing an officer and knowingly operating while suspended (cause death). All are felonies. He also was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and five felony counts of bail jumping after the July incident.
He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Aug. 20.
According to the complaint:
The evening of July 31, an inmate approached a sergeant in the jail to pass along information that Lieffring was working on something in his cell regarding the bars and an escape with another inmate and someone on the outside.
Lieffring has been in jail since July 6.
When investigators inspected Lieffring’s cell they discovered the grate from around the smoke detector was not secure and screws were missing from various places in the cell. A toothbrush with a screw and metal piece from the smoke detector grate were found under the mattress and a playing card with an 8 on it displayed in a way so someone could see it from outside the jail, according to the complaint.
They also found dominoes and playing cards wedged between one of the bars and the window. That bar had a cut in it roughly 1/4 inch deep all the way across.
When questioned, multiple inmates said they heard various sounds coming from Lieffring’s cell. One inmate described the sound as if someone was “donkey kicking” the toilet or the wall.
Another inmate told investigators Lieffring was “trying to get out of here,” and said he knew Lieffring had talked to a former inmate about his plan to escape.