Fri, May 02, 2008 - Page 7 News List

US woman back in jail after spending 32 years on the run

AFP , LOS ANGELES

Outgoing Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, center, looks at Senator Edward Kennedy, not shown, as he delivers his remarks to a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, and President Pro Tem of the Senate Robert Byrd applaud behind him.

PHOTO: AP

A woman who spent 32 years on the run after breaking out of prison in 1976 is back behind bars after being arrested in California, authorities said on Wednesday.

Marie Walsh, 53, was detained after US Marshals Service agents acting on a tip were led to the mother-of-three?? home in San Diego where she had lived for the past 10 years following her jailbreak decades earlier.

Walsh, who was known as Susan Lefevre in 1975 when she was sentenced to between 10 and 20 years for drugs offenses, escaped from a Detroit prison camp after serving a year of her jail term.

She fled to California, married and raised three children before the long arm of the law finally caught up with her. Walsh is now being held at a California women?? jail, where she is awaiting extradition to Michigan to serve the remainder of her sentence.

In interviews with local media from her jail cell, Walsh, who initially denied being Lefevre, said she had been convicted of a minor crime.

??t was a couple hundred dollars worth of drugs, a transaction that my friend did, and I was there in the car,??she told NBC 7/39, insisting she was just someone who ??ot in with the wrong crowd??as a teenager.

Walsh, who said her family knew nothing of her prior identity before her arrest, pleaded for leniency when she faces justice again in Michigan.

????e been through 30 years of paying off a debt [to society],??she said. ?? hope that there?? some consideration for the fact that I did turn my life around.?

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