James Budd, founder of the Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow alternative shelter, pictured in 2009.
James Budd, founder of the Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow alternative shelter, pictured in 2009. ( Greg Daily )

James Budd pleaded not guilty this morning to charges that he planned to escape Boulder County Jail while awaiting sentencing on a conviction in separate sex assault case.

Budd, 48, founder of the organization Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, pleaded not guilty to counts of attempting to escape, first-degree introduction of contraband and first-degree possession of contraband -- all Class 4 felonies -- at his arraignment this morning.

Boulder District Judge Andrew MacDonald set Budd for a three-day trial beginning June 2.

Budd is still awaiting sentencing after a Boulder County jury found Budd guilty of five counts of felony sexual assault, as well as unlawful sexual contact, false imprisonment and third-degree assault on Sept. 5 after prosecutors said he repeatedly sexually assaulted a female acquaintance in her trailer in 2012.

Kathryn Herold -- Budd's attorney -- did ask MacDonald to set a separate hearing for Budd after his Feb. 6 sentencing in that case, saying depending on the sentence Budd may accept a plea.

"Depending on the sentence we may be able to resolve this," Herold said.

Budd could receive eight to 24 years in prison on the sexual assault charge, but under Colorado law, sex offenders are subject to indeterminate sentencing, keeping them in prison until they complete sex offender treatment.

According to an arrest affidavit, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office began investigating Budd in October after he reportedly told several deputies at the Boulder County Jail, as well as a probation officer, that he planned on escaping.

Budd reportedly told the probation officer his plan was to escape and then turn himself back in to authorities in exchange for a new trial in his sexual assault case.

Deputies searching a cell that at one point housed Budd found two metal rods -- one about 6 inches long and the other about 8 inches long, but bent into a grip at the end. Deputies said the rods could have been used as weapons.

Budd admitted the two rods were his and said he had planned to escape in September, according to court records, but didn't because he was afraid the Black Hawk helicopters in the area conducting flood rescue operations would find him.

Deputies also found Budd had attempted to remove a bolt from an angle bracket underneath one of the mounted tables in his cell, according to the affidavit. Budd told sheriff's officials his plan was to use the steel bracket to bust out the window and escape.

Budd remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars.