RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) An ailing 81-year-old North Carolina man who escaped from a Maryland prison 43 years ago was taken into custody Friday to face extradition, a move his attorneys decried as a waste of time because he is ill and aging.
Willie Parker, who suffers from several health problems, only served about a quarter of his sentence for robbery with a deadly weapon before escaping in 1965. He was tracked down in February as part of a Maryland effort to clear outstanding warrants.
Parker, who has been living in North Carolina, was unexpectedly arrested during a court hearing Friday, said defense attorney Andrew Jackson. He said Parker was held for about an hour before extradition documents arrived from Gov. Mike Easley's office.
"The general sentiment is why are we wasting our time with this old man. We've got plenty of other crime up here in Maryland," said Warren Brown, one of Parker's attorneys. "He's a sick man, requiring hospitalization at times, and they would have to bear the cost."
It was unclear when Maryland authorities will arrive in North Carolina, though Parker's attorneys said its unlikely to happen before Monday. Brown said he plans ask Maryland's Parol Commission to release Parker rather than hold him in prison.