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Fugitive on lam since ’59 arrives back in Ohio jail

Frank Harold Freshwater waits during a court hearing at the Brevard County Jail Thursday, May 14, 2015, in Cocoa Fla. Judge Rhonda Babb said Thursday that she will take some time before deciding whether the 79-year-old Freshwater, who had been on the lam since walking away from a prison farm in 1959, can contest his extradition back to Ohio after a recent arrest in Florida. (Craig Rubadoux/Florida Today via AP) NO SALES, MAGS OUT

ORIENT, Ohio (AP) — A fugitive who was on the lam since walking away from an Ohio prison farm in 1959 was flown back to the state Tuesday after his recent arrest in Florida, a prison official said.

Frank Freshwater, 79, was taken to the Correctional Reception Center in central Ohio, said JoEllen Smith, a spokeswoman for Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

A judge in Orlando ruled Monday that he should be extradited. Freshwater initially waived extradition but then tried to have the papers voided, saying he “wasn’t thinking straight” when he signed them.

Freshwater originally pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1957. He was arrested May 4 in Brevard County, on Florida’s east coast. Deputies used a ruse to match his fingerprints to his decades-old arrest.

In the next few days, Freshwater’s sentence will be recalculated based on his time at large and time served since his recent arrest, Smith said.

After all these years, there are discrepancies involving his name. Documents in Ohio refer to him as “Freshwaters,” according to the U.S. Marshals Service. But court documents filed by his attorney in Florida refer to him as “Freshwater.”

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