PHOENIX (AP) — A man who had been jailed in Arizona for three months after his arrest for escaping an Iowa prison 37 years ago is in the process of being brought back to Iowa, officials said Wednesday.
Charles Leroy Cagley was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service and expected to be brought back to Iowa within a few days, said Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Cord Overton.
Cagley, 68, believed he was no longer a wanted man, but was arrested in late March after the FBI notified authorities that he was living 80 miles (132 kilometers) north of Phoenix in the town of Prescott Valley. His wife said he fought his extradition to Iowa.
He went to prison in 1978 for a robbery conviction from Woodbury County and escaped in January 1981 from the Newton Correctional Facility. Cagley has lived in north central Arizona and had been using his own name for more than a decade.
Most Read Nation & World Stories
- How to find a quality mask (and avoid counterfeits)
- Popular TV anchor catches COVID for a second time: 'This virus is scary'
- Tonga volcano's eruption was so forceful, it may have helped clear Seattle's fog
- Here's the difference between N95 and KN95 masks, and how to spot a fake
- Sports on TV & radio: Local listings for Seattle games and events
Cagley’s wife, Virginia Cagley, said she is in the process of trying to find an attorney for her husband. She asked that the public consider her husband’s dignity when hearing about his case.
“I just hope that when people hear about this that they will look at this person as he really is, not what people might think he is because of the headlines, and give him a little respect,” she said. “He deserves it.”
She has said her husband believed he was no longer a fugitive based on a private investigator’s research in 2005 and on an Iowa prison warden’s letter to Veterans Affairs a year later.
She has said the warden wrote a letter saying the 1981 warrant for Cagley’s arrest had been withdrawn and that Iowa no longer wanted him back in custody. The warden wrote the letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs after Cagley, a Vietnam veteran, applied for benefits, but was told there was a warrant out for him. Virginia Cagley also has said a private investigator who examined Cagley’s status said the matter had been dropped.
The FBI notified authorities in late March that Iowa had a new warrant for Cagley.
One of the reasons the extradition process took longer than usual was that authorities had to retrieve legal documents that were decades old.
Cagley is being brought back to Iowa after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed his extradition warrant, Overton said.
The hand-off of Cagley to the Marshals Service appeared to have been done just before Arizona’s 90-day deadline for extraditions.
Cagley was given a 10-year prison sentence for this robbery conviction, though the amount of time he was to serve could have been reduced through good behavior.
If he doesn’t lose good behavior credits and faces no discipline, he would be released from prison in mid-August 2020.
But Overton declined to comment on whether Cagley would face more prison time due to his escape, pointing out that such decisions are handled by administrative law judges.
Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at https://bit.ly/2GGWEPO.