Former warden who oversaw jail during escapes finds job in another county

Brittany Costello
September 16, 2017 10:45 PM

LAS VEGAS, N.M. – After three inmates escaped under his watch, the warden at the Sandoval County Detention Center was let go at the end of July.


Now, less than two months later, Matthew Elwell has landed another gig following a unanimous vote by San Miguel County commissioners on Monday: warden of the county’s detention center.

Elwell’s name should sound familiar. In May, under his leadership, the Sandoval County Detention center came under fire shortly after two inmates escaped – Paul Garcia, who is facing murder charges, and Blake McPherson.

Then-Warden Elwell talked to KOB after those escapes.

“We're currently doing an investigation and talking with all the inmates who may have had something to do with it or saw something,” Elwell said in May. “We'll be visiting with staff and looking at our policy and procedures, as well as looking at the facility itself to ensure that we minimize this risk and hopefully eliminating it in the future.”

But the risk wasn't eliminated, and a few months later another inmate was mistakenly released from Sandoval County.

Just before Elwell was let go from his position, the contract with the former San Miguel detention center warden was terminated, according to minutes from a July 27 San Miguel County commissioners meeting.


Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


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