Saturday 18 November 2017

US fugitive gives up after 40 years

Clarence David Moore called police this week to surrender after decades on the run in the US
Clarence David Moore called police this week to surrender after decades on the run in the US

A 66-year-old man who had been on the run from jail in the US for four decades has called police and given himself up.

Frail and tired of leading a secret life, Clarence David Moore called police this week to surrender. The officer who answered thought it was a prank.

Moore escaped from police custody three times during the 1970s and eventually settled into a quiet life, living in Kentucky since at least 2009.

His health is poor after a stroke and he has difficulty speaking. Without a legitimate ID, he had apparently struggled to get medical care.

When Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton arrived at Moore's house to make the "arrest" he was in a hospital bed and broke down in tears.

"He looks like he's almost 90," the sheriff said.

A woman who had been living with Moore had no idea of his past. "She was just blown away when all this happened," the sheriff said.

Moore was convicted of larceny of more than 200 US dollars in North Carolina in 1967 and was sentenced to up to seven years in prison, according to records from the Department of Public Safety.

While working with a road crew in the Asheville area, he escaped and was recaptured in 1971.

He escaped again the following year and was on the run until he was apprehended in Texas in 1975. His third escape from a Henderson County prison was on August 6 1976.

On Monday, after he called police, he was taken from his home by ambulance to a local hospital for evaluation and then to jail, where he remains in custody.

Mr Melton said he knew little about Moore's life before arriving in Kentucky, other than that he spent time working on boats along the East Coast.

Moore had lived in Frankfort since at least 2009, when he was involved in a traffic crash, Mr Melton said.

Moore was cited then for not having a driver's license. He did not appear for his court date and was charged with contempt.

He went by the name of Ronnie T Dickinson in that case and has used other aliases.

Neighbour Richard Colyer said he knew Moore as Dickinson. He said Moore was a private man who moved into the neighbourhood three to four years ago. Sometimes he would sit on his front porch and wait for the mail.

The sheriff said he thought Moore's poor health factored into his decision to turn himself in.

Press Association

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