Craig man arrested for allegedly aiding escape of CAPS detainee

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William Kurtis Baird

A Craig man with an unusual history in the Moffat County court system was arrested this week for allegedly trying to help a person at the Correctional Alternative Placement Services facility escape.

William Kurtis Baird, 21, was arrested at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday and booked into Moffat County Jail on suspicion of aiding an escape, a Class 3 felony.

About the same time, Christopher Lelland McAndrew, 23, of CAPS, was booked into Moffat County Jail on a flight-escape warrant issued by the Colorado Department of Corrections.

CAPS officials began searching for McAndrew when he did not return to the facility on time, and found he was in Baird’s company, said Bill Leonard, Craig Police Department division commander.

“It was discovered that Mr. Baird was actually trying to help (McAndrew) escape,” Leonard said.

Both men were taken into custody without incident by Craig police officers. Formal charges are pending.

Wednesday’s arrest wasn’t the first brush with the law for Baird, who was also once involved with CAPS.

He was arrested in September 2008 following a joint investigation between the Craig Police and All Crimes Enforcement Team. Authorities alleged Baird, then 18, tried to coax a 17-year-old into helping him shoot and kill two men, a 56-year-old man and his 18-year-old son.

The minor reported Baird and his plan to authorities.

While investigating, authorities learned Baird made a “hit list,” which included his two targeted victims and a list of equipment needed to carry out the plan — including a sniper rifle, pistol and silencer, and an escape route.

During a subsequent interview with investigators, Baird reportedly confessed to plotting to kill the two men and was charged with solicitation to commit murder, a Class 2 felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a Class 4 felony. From there, according to an arrest affidavit, the case took an unusual turn.

Baird told investigators he had previously killed at the behest of the U.S. government, and that he and a relative owned a bounty hunting business called “Git-R-Done, Got-R-Dead.” He also claimed to know of a covert military instillation on Black Mountain called Area 48, according to the arrest affidavit.

Baird pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in exchange for the dismissal of the solicitation to commit murder charge.

Judge Shelley Hill, who called the case “very frightening,” sentenced Baird in December 2008 to three years at CAPS.

Baird was no longer with CAPS when he was arrested Wednesday.

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