Crime

She allegedly helped boyfriend escape from SLO Honor Farm. Now she could face prison time

Timothy Powers, 20, escaped from the San Luis Obispo County Jail's Honor Farm on June 20. He and girlfriend Claudia Penaloza, 24, now face years in jail and state prison, respectively.
Timothy Powers, 20, escaped from the San Luis Obispo County Jail's Honor Farm on June 20. He and girlfriend Claudia Penaloza, 24, now face years in jail and state prison, respectively.

A Paso Robles man who walked away from San Luis Obispo County Jail's Honor Farm faces years in jail for his alleged escape attempt — and his girlfriend, who allegedly drove him to San Miguel, faces prison time.

On Monday, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office filed a felony charge of escape against Timothy Powers, 20, and a felony charge of aiding in the escape of an inmate against 24-year-old Claudia Penaloza of San Simeon.

Penaloza's charge carries a sentencing enhancement. That's because she allegedly helped Powers escape while she was out of jail custody on a promise to appear in court in a separate case.

According to chief deputy district attorney Jerret Gran, Powers faces up to three years in County Jail for the alleged escape.

Gran said Penaloza faces up to five years in state prison, due to the sentencing enhancement.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, Powers removed his ankle monitor and walked away from the minimum-security facility between 9 and 10:40 p.m. June 20.

But just after 9:20 a.m. the next morning, deputies in San Miguel stopped a vehicle they believed was connected to Powers and found him in the front passenger seat, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Penaloza was driving the car, officials say, and was also arrested.

It is unclear how much time Powers had left to serve on his sentence before his alleged escape attempt. Court records show he has three additional ongoing criminal cases for alleged grand theft, petty theft and burglary.

Court records show Penaloza was convicted in May for theft by forged access card.

As of Monday evening, Powers and Penaloza remained in County Jail. Penaloza is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

Both are due to be arraigned in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Tuesday.

Matt Fountain 781-7909, @mattfountain1
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