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Tennessee inmate on run for 35 years captured in Alabama

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee convict who escaped from state custody 33 years ago was captured in Alabama, U.S. marshals announced Saturday.

Billy Wayne Hayes, 57, was arrested by marshals and police Friday night in Dothan nearly 350 miles from Nashville, where he had been imprisoned.

Hayes was sentenced in 1968 to serve 10 years at the Tennessee State Prison for second-degree murder in Davidson County.

He was assigned to a work-release program and never returned after signing out for work on Dec. 21, 1972.

Marshals had no information on Hayes’ murder charge and Tennessee Department of Corrections spokeswoman Dorinda Carter said Hayes’ case was so old that information on it was not in the department’s current computer system and would not be available until Monday.

A call to Dothan police Saturday was not answered.

U.S. Marshals in Nashville received information earlier in the week that Hayes might be in Mobile or Dothan. Hayes had been working construction jobs in Alabama using his true name.

Officers said Hayes was surprised when arrested, acknowledged that he escaped and told them he had no idea why he fled. He said he had only a short time left to serve when he escaped. Authorities in Alabama say they found crack cocaine inside Hayes’ clothing when they arrested him.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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