The Latest: Family grateful 55-year fugitive will be paroled

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Posted: Feb 25, 2016 5:21 PM
The Latest: Family grateful 55-year fugitive will be paroled

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on a man who was found in Florida 55 years after disappearing from an Ohio prison camp (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Relatives of a man who disappeared from an Ohio prison camp in 1959 while serving time for manslaughter and was found last year in Florida say they're relieved and overjoyed that he's been granted parole.

Ohio's parole board decided Thursday that Frank Freshwaters should be released April 24, about a week after his 80th birthday. Exactly where he'll go hasn't been settled, but the conditions for his release include five years of supervision.

One of Freshwaters' sons wiped tears from his eyes after the decision was announced. Another son who was born months after the accident that got Freshwaters in trouble says he's hoping to get to know him better.

Prosecutors had argued that Freshwaters changed his name, avoided accountability and never paid the restitution ordered for his victim's family.

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4:45 p.m.

An Ohio board has granted parole to a man who disappeared from an Ohio prison camp in 1959 while serving time for manslaughter and was found last year in Florida.

Frank Freshwaters wasn't at Thursday's hearing before the state parole board in Columbus.

Investigators who tracked down Freshwaters say the 79-year-old widower was living off Social Security benefits under an alias at a weathered trailer in rural Brevard County, Florida.

His attorney argued for Freshwaters' release, saying he has lived a clean life and never forgot the accident that led to his case.

A son of the victim in the manslaughter case told the board that Freshwaters should be held accountable.

Freshwaters was first caught in West Virginia in 1975 but wasn't extradited then.

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4:25 p.m.

An Ohio man says the fugitive who struck his father with a vehicle, was imprisoned for manslaughter and went on the run for 55 years hasn't really paid for what he did.

Frank Freshwaters was imprisoned in 1959 after violating probation and disappeared from a Sandusky prison camp later that year. Investigators found the 79-year-old widower last May in rural Brevard County, Florida. They say he was living off Social Security benefits under an alias at a weathered trailer.

Richard Flynt is the son of the pedestrian Freshwaters struck. He told Ohio's parole board Thursday that Freshwaters should be held accountable. Flynt told board members that the specifics of how are up to them.

An attorney arguing for Freshwaters' release says he has lived a clean life in recent decades.

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3:25 p.m.

A prosecutor's office is urging Ohio's parole board to not release a man who disappeared from a prison camp in 1959 while serving time for manslaughter and was found last year in rural Florida.

The chief counsel for Summit County's prosecutor says Frank Freshwaters changed his name, avoided accountability and never paid the restitution ordered for his victim's family.

Investigators who tracked down Freshwaters last May say he was living off Social Security benefits under an alias at a weathered trailer in Brevard County. The 79-year-old widower was returned to Ohio and had a closed parole hearing in August.

Freshwaters didn't attend Thursday's public hearing in Columbus. His attorney argued in favor of parole.

Freshwaters was first caught in West Virginia in 1975 but wasn't extradited then.

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3 p.m.

Two sons of a man who disappeared from a prison camp in 1959 while serving time for manslaughter are asking a board to grant him parole.

The board heard arguments Thursday in Columbus about whether to grant parole for Frank Freshwaters, a 55-year fugitive who was captured in Florida last year. He left prison camp in 1959 while serving time for hitting a man with a vehicle.

One son told board members Freshwaters has been haunted by the accident. The other apologized to the son of the man Freshwaters fatally struck.

Investigators who found Freshwaters say he was living off Social Security benefits under an alias at a weathered trailer in rural Brevard County.

He was first caught in West Virginia in 1975 but wasn't extradited then. He is now 79.

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2:40 p.m.

A friend of a man who was a 55-year fugitive has told Ohio's parole board that he can live with her family if he is released from prison.

Frank Freshwaters disappeared from a prison camp in 1959 while serving time for manslaughter and was found last year in rural Brevard County, Florida. Investigators who found Freshwaters say the 79-year-old widower was living off Social Security benefits under an alias at a weathered trailer.

Shirl Cheetham got choked up Thursday as she talked to the board about him. She said that Freshwaters has become like family and that he'd be welcome to live with her family in Florida.

Freshwaters was first caught in West Virginia in 1975 but wasn't extradited then.

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2 p.m.

An attorney has asked an Ohio board to grant parole to a man who disappeared from a prison camp in 1959 while serving time for manslaughter and was found last year in rural Florida.

Frank Freshwaters wasn't at Thursday's hearing before the full state parole board in Columbus. But his attorney, Gordon Beggs, told the board Freshwaters has lived a clean life and never forgot the accident that led to his case.

Investigators who tracked down Freshwaters last May say he was living off Social Security benefits under an alias at a weathered trailer in rural Brevard County, Florida. The 79-year-old widower was returned to Ohio and had a closed parole hearing in August.

He was first caught in West Virginia in 1975 but wasn't extradited then.

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1 p.m.

An Ohio board will hear arguments on whether to grant parole for a man who disappeared from a prison camp in 1959 while serving time for manslaughter and was found last year in rural Florida.

Frank Freshwaters wasn't expected to attend Thursday's hearing before the full state parole board in Columbus. It was slated to hear from both sides, including an attorney for Freshwaters.

Investigators who tracked down Freshwaters last May say he was living off Social Security benefits under an alias at a weathered trailer in rural Brevard County, Florida. The 79-year-old widower was returned to Ohio and had a closed parole hearing in August.

He was first caught in West Virginia in 1975 but wasn't extradited, as the state's governor concluded Freshwaters had a "flawless 16-year residency" there.