Escaped fugitive caught 22 years later

October 17, 2008 5:20:52 PM PDT
A man who escaped from an Oklahoma prison two decades ago was arrested in a Houston suburb, the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday. Members of the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force took Allen Eugene Whitchurch, 60, into custody in Spring on Thursday night.

Whitchurch escaped from the John Lilley Correctional Center in Boley, Okla., in April 1986. He was serving the third year of a 15-year manslaughter sentence when he went on the run.

The marshals in Texas and task force officials received a tip from U.S. Marshals in Oklahoma that led them to the trailer in Spring where Whitchurch was living.

"Whitchurch he was definitely surprised as to how we found him," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Alfredo Perez.

Whitchurch initially denied his identity but recanted, Perez said.

Whitchurch, who was being held in the Harris County Jail, is awaiting extradition back to Oklahoma to face escape charges. He had not yet been assigned an attorney.

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