Two charged for aiding jail escapees

Courtesy photo Velma Valdez

A Clovis couple is charged with helping two escapees, including a convicted child-killer, in the August jail escape.

Velma Valdez, 44, and Abundio Valdez, 34, are charged with two counts each of harboring a felon.

Abundio Valdez is also charged with two additional counts of assisting in an escape.

District Attorney Matt Chandler said allegations against the two are based on evidence they transported Edward Salas and Luis Chavez to West Texas and also gave them supplies within an hour of the escape.

According to court records, the two were indicted Dec. 19 for “concealing or (giving) aid” to Luis Chavez and Edward Salas between Aug. 24 and 25.

Velma Valdez was related to Salas by marriage.

Chavez and Salas were among a group of eight inmates to escape from the Curry County Adult Detention Center on Aug. 24.

Seven of the inmates have been returned to custody, including Chavez, 19, who was captured Dec. 8 at a Clovis grocery store.

Salas, 24, remains at large.

Investigators said the escapees stole a key from detention officers to unlock a plumbing chase and shimmied up pipes inside a wall where they cut a hole in the roof using handmade tools.

Velma Valdez was released from jail on a $15,000 bond Dec. 31, jail officials said, while Abundio Valdez remains in custody, held on a $50,000 bond.

Velma Valdez is the former wife of Edward Salas’ paternal uncle and is the mother of Salas’ cousin, Wilfred Salas Jr., who was shot and killed in 2006.

A message left for Velma Valdez was not returned.