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Prosecutors: Man accused of burning Aprina Paul's body sought his mom's help in explosive escape plan

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Andrea Anderson
December 18, 2013

JANESVILLE — The man accused of burning a woman's body in his back yard wanted his mother to buy explosives to blow a hole in the wall of the Rock County Jail so he could escape, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.

“So if you love me and want me to come home you will do this for me,” Middleton wrote in the Dec. 2 letter, according to the complaint.

Nathan Middleton, 29, of 12016 W. Highway 14, Evansville, told his mother the letter is "no joke" and that he could not serve more time in jail, according to the complaint.

After escaping, he planned to flee the country with his family, according to the complaint.

"As soon as I get out I'm taking my family to Mexico I know people there that will help us to get on are feet," Middleton wrote, according to the complaint.

Middleton, who is in jail on charges that he hid and burned the body of a Dane County woman, was arrested Friday after Rock County detectives began investigating what they believe was his escape plan.

Middleton and another inmate planned to attempt the escape last week, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges the letter provides a checklist for his mother to prepare for the attempted escape:

-- "Look on line and see what you can come up with to blow the wall."

-- "Get a rental car and take the plate's off and steal some different plates and put them on."

-- "Park the rental car on 14 in front of the jail and running do that 5 minutes before you blow the wall."

-- "Have a change of clothing in the car for me and I will let you know where to pick the car up after I get a new one."

-- Put the bomb in the middle of the window that is where it is weak and light the fuse and take off fast."

The letter was delivered to Middleton's mother by his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Kelly Mattingly, District Attorney David O'Leary said.

Detectives began investigating Dec. 1 after an inmate told a correctional officer that Middleton had asked several inmates for help escaping, according to the complaint.

A detective listened to a Dec. 2 phone conversation between Middleton and his mother. During the call, Middleton asked his mother to walk up to a jail window and listen for him pounding on it, according to the complaint.

A detective later listened to a Dec. 4 phone conversation between Middleton and his mother during which Middleton told his mother he had sent her a letter Dec. 2 about the window, according to the complaint.

Middleton remains in jail on a $100,000 cash bond on felony charges that he hid and mutilated the corpse of 18-year-old Aprina Paul in November. He is also being held on a $500 cash bond for the attempted escape.

Jail security for Middleton has been increased, according to the Rock County Sheriff's Office.

In court Wednesday afternoon, Mattingly withdrew from Middleton's case, citing a conflict of interest. 

A new attorney will be assigned to Middleton, who is due back in court at 3 p.m. Monday.



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