A man originally convicted of beating a Washington woman on a rural Canyon County Road has found himself back in jail.
In 2000, Linda Lebrane was traveling through Canyon County when three men and a woman reportedly forced her off the road, robbed her, beat her, and set her car on fire.
In court, Lebrane identified Wurdemann, now 46, from Twin Falls, as one of her assailants.
He was convicted of robbery, kidnapping, and attempted murder.
But a judge later threw out his conviction, saying defense attorneys did not adequately challenge Lebrane’s testimony.
So Wurdemann was released from custody, pending a possible retrial.
Then, Saturday evening, the Oregon State Police OSP received an “attempt to locate” notice on Wurdemann, who they say had active warrants out for his arrest.
“Credible information was developed that (Wurdemann), who was known to have violent tendencies and abuse drugs, was possibly traveling on U.S. Highway 20 between Burns and Ontario,” according to an Oregon State Police news release.
OSP, the Harney County Sheriff's Office, the Malheur County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Land Management were all looking for a blue Ford F-150 pickup that Wurdemann was reported to be driving.
About 8:45 p.m. Pacific Time Saturday, officials spotted the vehicle near milepost 163 on U.S. 20, parked on the shoulder of the road. As officers pulled in behind the vehicle, the driver accelerated and sped eastbound on the highway.
Speeds reached between 50 and 100 mph, the release stated. “The operator was driving very recklessly, often times traveling into the oncoming lanes of travel and into the path of oncoming vehicles. Numerous items, including a loaded firearm, were thrown from the vehicle as it eluded (officers),” the release said. The items were recovered by the Harney County Sheriff's Office.
The Malheur County Sheriff's Office deployed spike strips at milepost 216 and flattened the truck’s two side tires. The vehicle slowed and at milepost 218, veered off the right, drove and into a snowdrift, according to the report.
Wurdemann was taken into custody without incident.
He was booked into in the Malheur County Jail for attempting to elude police in a vehicle and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Both are felonies. There were also two nationwide felony warrants out for him -- one for the attempted homicide out of Canyon County, and the other for unlawful possession of a firearm out of Twin Falls. According to the OSP, Wurdemann was additionally charged with reckless driving and recklessly endangering another person.
The passenger, 22-year-old Stormy Raine Allen, also from Twin Falls, Idaho was also taken into custody without incident.
Allen was booked into the Malheur County Jail on three felonies: attempting to elude police in a vehicle, being in possession of a firearm, and hindering prosecution. She was also arrested for tampering with evidence, littering, and interfering with a police officer.
The vehicle was towed to the OSP office in Ontario where it was secured.
The investigation is continuing.