Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Killer caught in Columbus 31 years after her escape

The Associated Press

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A convicted murderer has been captured more than 31 years after she escaped from a Tennessee prison and assumed a new identity and life in her hometown of Columbus, authorities said Monday.

        Margo Freshwater, 53, was arrested Sunday by state and local authorities. Using the name Tonya McCartor, she and her husband worked there as truck drivers, said Brooks Wilkins, a special agent in charge with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

        While a fugitive, Mrs. Freshwater married several times, had three children and kept her record clean except for parking and traffic violations, authorities said.

        “We don't believe her current husband or the son who was with her at the time of her arrest knew anything about her past,” said Larry Wallace, director of the TBI.

        Mrs. Freshwater was denied bail at an extradition hearing Monday in Franklin County. Tennessee Correction Department Commissioner Donal Campbell said Mrs. Freshwater may not return to Tennessee for several weeks.

        Mrs. Freshwater escaped from the Tennessee Prison for Women on Oct. 4, 1970, when she and another woman “broke formation” and scaled a single perimeter fence.

        She had served just 1 1/2 years of a 99-year sentence for the first-degree murder of a Memphis liquor store clerk. The other woman was recaptured in the early 1990s.

        Police arrested her Sunday at a hotel whose health club she was using, said Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien. He said she embraced family members who were with her and did not act surprised.


Hamilton County braces for terrorism
County offers break on home fix-up loans
Erpenbeck strands condo associations
Legislator seeks title reform
Erpenbeck to plead not guilty
City schools set to start building
Officer loses police powers
Police review panel has openings
Report backs police search
Teen drug use declining, survey says
Young crowd dance night away
Spanish emerges in hospitals
Insurers deny doctor drain
- Killer caught in Columbus 31 years after her escape
Ohio lawmakers close to budget deal
Local Digest
Planners seeking public feedback
Search continues for two men in Ohio River
Silverton tax hike 1 vote short
Trial starts for cemetery operator
UC professor claims gender discrimination
Volunteer charged with molestation
Boehner covers bases in re-election bid
Butler County Digest
Choir sets poems to music
Family accuses officer of brutality
Lebanon mulls raising utilities
Life Success Seminars moves
Petitions address airport name
Schools focus budget cuts
Homeless sue over camp razing
Displaced miss their possessions, 'family'
School chief will hear Fort Thomas fear
Airport security case goes to federal court
Cop outlines case against Huiett
GOP primary pits two ex-Democrats
Kentucky Digest
Louisville archdiocese faces 75 lawsuits
Teaching programs subjected to review