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Longtime fugitive could have Ohio parole hearing in months

This pair of photo shows shows Harold Frank Freshwaters, left, in a Feb. 26, 1959 Ohio State Reformatory photo released by the U.S. Marshals Service, and right, in a May 4, 2015, booking photo released by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. Freshwaters, 79, of Akron, Ohio, was arrested by U.S. Marshals on May 4, 2015 by in Melbourne, Fla. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for killing a pedestrian with his car in 1957. Freshwaters initially received a suspended sentence but was imprisoned in 1959 for a parole violation. He fled a prison farm in northwest Ohio later that year. (AP Photo/Ohio State Reformatory and Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio inmate who escaped in 1959 and recently was found in Florida could have his first parole board hearing after just a few months back behind bars.

Frank Freshwaters’ sentence was recalculated based on his time at large and in custody to determine that he’ll have a hearing in August on the issue of possible parole, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Wednesday. The exact date will be set later.

Freshwaters, 79, is in custody at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, south of Columbus, after being extradited from Florida. He might appear before the parole board in person or via video conference, Smith said.

The Akron man disappeared from a prison camp near Sandusky while serving a one-to-20-year sentence for manslaughter. He was found once before, living in St. Albans, West Virginia, in 1975, but the governor there refused to extradite him and he apparently slipped off authorities’ radar for decades.

He was arrested May 4 in Brevard County, Florida, after a deputy U.S. marshal in Cleveland looked into his cold case and authorities used a ruse to match his fingerprints to his old file. Investigators said they found him as a retired widower living under an old alias, William Harold Cox.

Ohio court and prison documents call him Frank Freshwaters, but he was jailed in Florida as Harold Frank Freshwater, and documents filed by his attorney there referred to him with that last name.

Authorities say he has declined media interviews since his arrest. One of his sons said by phone that the family isn’t commenting while it seeks legal assistance.

It’s possible he still could be charged in the escape.

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