John Robert Hermann

Jackson County jail break thwarted

A Medford man held on attempted murder and other charges tried to escape the Jackson County Jail through third-floor windows but was apprehended, authorities said.

John Robert Hermann, 32, was arraigned Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree criminal mischief, attempted second-degree escape, coercion and menacing in connection with the 2:35 p.m. Saturday incident in the jail, according to court records.

Deputies learned of an escape attempt and rushed to the downtown Medford jail's third floor where they discovered two damaged windows and other evidence of an escape attempt, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Hermann was arrested and all inmates were accounted for, the sheriff's office reported.

Hermann was identified Monday as the only suspect so far in the escape attempt, deputies said.

Hermann remained jailed without bail. Sheriff's detectives did not return telephone calls seeking further details of the alleged escape attempt.

Hermann has been jailed since his March 28 arrest on attempted murder and other charges for allegedly shooting 25-year-old Matthew Stephen Atkinson, who showed up early March 25 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with a single gunshot wound, police said. He was treated and released, records show.

Hermann allegedly shot Atkinson outside of his west Medford home, reportedly over a dispute about money, police said.

Hermann and co-defendant Stephanie Allison Van Cleave, 45, were arrested after a short standoff at their Medford Hotel apartment, where police later found a gun believed to be used in the shooting as well as a homemade explosive, police said.

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