Fla. parole commission hears 'prison Houdini' case

AP News
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Posted: Dec 17, 2014 12:47 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A man known as the prison Houdini might finally see freedom after more than 35 years — this time without an elaborate escape.

Florida's parole commission voted Wednesday to move Mark DeFriest's potential release date from 2085 to March 2015.

DeFriest was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing tools in a case his lawyer says is a family matter that got out of hand.

DeFriest was 19 when his father died and left him some tools. But he didn't wait for the will to be read and took them from his stepmother's shed.

Once in prison, he kept trying to escape and succeeded seven times in 13 attempts. Time kept getting added, essentially turning it into a life sentence until the commission's decision Wednesday.