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Woman suspected of helping Hardin inmates flee arrested in Billings

Posted at 3:06 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 17:06:44-05

A woman who helped three inmates escape from the Big Horn County jail was arrested Tuesday in Billings on suspicion of shoplifting from Walmart.

Odessa Rose Cottier, 24, was wanted by authorities in Big Horn County for allegedly making a false report of shots fired in a trailer park , which cleared deputies from the jail and aided in the Feb. 10 escape.

Cottier also goes by the name Odessa Rose Littlelight, according to charging documents. She made her first appearance in Yellowstone County Justice Court in Billings Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Billings police responded to the Billings West End Walmart to a report of a theft. An employee said she had seen Cottier remove tags from items in the store, then walk past all points of sale, so she detained her, prosecutors stated in charging documents.

Cottier said she had warrants for her arrests, bolted for the door and was stopped by another employee, whom she shoved aside while trying to flee, prosecutors said.

She is facing one felony robbery charge in Yellowstone County and extradition to Big Horn County for a felony charge of obstructing justice and a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report.

Big Horn County Attorney Jay Harris identified Cottier as the girlfriend of one of the three escapees, Stephen Caplett. According to court documents, Caplett called Cottier on the night of the escape and told her "it was going down."

She then made the call with the false report of shots fired and did not identify herself, prosecutors said. Authorities said they discovered her relationship with Caplett after they found letter from her in his cell after his escape.

Cottier is one of two people accused of aiding in the escape. The man prosecutors say was the getaway driver, Robert Burgess, 42, was arrested last week.

Inmates Caplett, Anthony Castro, Casey Leider and Andrew Parham were accused of luring the lone deputy into a cell, assaulting him and stealing his keys . They then assaulted a dispatcher and forced her to open a door.

Leider was captured that night at the jail. Caplett and Castro were arrested a few days later in Billings.

Parham remains at large. He was in jail in Hardin awaiting extradition to Oklahoma, where he was facing charges of meth trafficking and possession.

The three inmates all faces charges of escape and aggravated kidnapping, which carry a sentence of between two and 120 years and a $50,000 fine.

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Andrew Leroy Parham