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Man Who Spent 28 Years As Fugitive Granted Parole

January 21, 1995

GARY, Ind. (AP) _ From the day he walked away from a prison farm in 1966, Plummer Barricks lived a normal life. He returned to Kentucky, married, opened a diner with his wife and played guitar at church on Sundays.

Then he got caught.

Barricks, 59, of Olive Hill, Ky., was stopped on Nov. 11 in a random police check while vacationing in Florida. After police discovered he was wanted in Indiana as an escaped convict, Barricks was returned to prison.

He remained in the lockup, depressed, until his friends turned out for a hearing before the Indiana Parole Board.

``We had 16 people come to the hearing. I had 27 letters written in support, including a letter from the county sheriff. The system worked,″ said Barricks’ lawyer, J. Michael Katz.

Barricks was released Tuesday.

Joseph Smith, Indiana Parole Board chairman, said releasing Barricks was the proper thing to do.

``It’s not very often the parole board gets an opportunity to give somebody their due,″ he said Thursday.

Barricks was arrested in Gary in 1959 after a fight at a party. He got bad legal advice, pleaded guilty to a felony and was sentenced to one to 10 years in prison, Katz said.

After serving 6 1/2 years, Barricks was transferred to a prison honor farm and was to be released shortly when he suffered an ulcer attack. It took several days for him to get medical attention. Barricks told a guard that if it happened again, he would leave for help, Katz said.

And he did.

``He hitchhiked to Kentucky, and the first thing he did when he got there was to go see a doctor,″ Katz said. ``He did not hide out, he went back to his people. The state of Indiana knew where his people were, and never followed up on it.″

Barricks married Thelma Wilson. In 1973, they opened ``Bud and Thelma’s″ diner. Thelma was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989; she died in 1992.

Barricks never returned to Gary or tried to conceal his identity.

``He kept waiting for someone to come and get him, but no one ever did,″ Katz said. ``So he just went on with his life.″

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