SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ A man who escaped from jail almost 14 years ago during an armed robbery trial was in custody in California for two years on other charges before Missouri authorities were notified of his capture.

George Dee Hurst, 40, was arrested July 23, 1985 in Los Angeles, said Lee Koury, U.S. marshal for the western district of Missouri.

But Webster County Sheriff Eugene Fraker was not told about Hurst's capture until a week and a half ago.

''It was real nice of them to finally let us know, wasn't it?'' Fraker said when a reporter for The Springfield News-Leader told him last week when Hurst actually was arrested.

Hurst was being tried for armed robbery in nearby Webster County when he escaped from the Greene County Jail in Springfield by leading a six-man breakout on Sept. 3, 1973, officials said. Several counties use the large Greene County lockup.

Greene County Sheriff John Pierpont said the other five escapees, all local men, were recaptured within a few weeks. But Hurst remained on the run for almost 12 years.

Koury said Hurst was arrested under an alias in the Los Angeles area in connection with a crime there. A fingerprint check revealed his true identity, and federal authorities were notified of his capture on Oct. 28, 1985. Officials in Los Angeles last week could not find records indicating the state charge.

Federal authorities had placed a detainer on Hurst because he had been serving a four-year prison term at Leavenworth, Kan., for transporting a stolen car across state lines. He was transferred from the federal prison in 1973 for the Webster County trial when he escaped.

California authorities released Hurst to federal authorities on June 5 and he is to be transfered to a federal prison at Terre Haute, Ind., to serve the remaining two years of his four-year federal sentence.

''Sheriff Fraker should have been notified in late 1985,'' Koury said. ''It appears someone slipped up. It wouldn't have changed much, but the sheriff probably would have liked to have gotten him back to stand trial.''

Now Fraker is making plans to get Hurst back for his trial.

''When he gets settled, we will start the paperwork to have him returned here,'' he said. ''This was a pretty serious case as far as we're concerned.''

The robbery occurred Aug. 23, 1971, at the home of an elderly couple northeast of Springfield. The robber tied up the couple, put a gun to the woman's head and threatened to shoot her if they didn't tell him where their money was hidden, the sheriff said.

Hurst was caught driving a stolen car in Kansas a short time after the robbery.

Fraker said some witnesses are still available and he said prosecutors could use the transcript from Hurst's preliminary hearing.

''I think we have a pretty good case,'' he said.