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'77 Leavenworth escapee arrested in Florida

Mar. 14, 2014 - 02:58PM   |  
James Robert Jones was arrested March 13. He had been listed as one of the Army's 15 Most Wanted for escaping from a federal prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1977.
James Robert Jones was arrested March 13. He had been listed as one of the Army's 15 Most Wanted for escaping from a federal prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1977. (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)
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DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. — One of the U.S. Army's 15 Most Wanted fugitives who escaped from military prison in Fort Leavenworth 37 years ago has been captured in South Florida, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

James Robert Jones, 69, was arrested Thursday in Deerfield Beach, Fla., where he had been living and working, said Barry Golden, a senior inspector with the US Marshals Service in Miami.

Jones was convicted of premeditated murder and aggravated assault in the death of a fellow Army private at Fort Dix in New Jersey and was sentenced in 1974 to 23 years in the Army's maximum security prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He escaped in 1977 and had been on the run since then.

Army investigators discovered Jones might be living in Florida and in January asked the U.S. Marshals Service to help locate him. The Marshals Service used a facial recognition database to find a match with a picture on a Florida's driver's license issued to Jones in 1981 under the name Bruce Keith.

Jones was arrested without incident when he showed up for work in nearby Pompano Beach. He admitted his identity after he was fingerprinted, the Marshals Service said.

Barry Golden, a senior inspector with the Marshals Service in Miami, told KSHB-TV that Jones had been living in Florida with "significant others" and was only one year from retirement. He declined to elaborate. Authorities said he had been living at a home in Deerfield Beach since at least 2005.

Jones will soon be extradited to Kansas to serve the remainder of his sentence, along with likely additional charges connected to his escape, Golden said.

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