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New Jersey fugitive eludes capture for 41 years, now awaits extradition

An American fugitive has been allowed to leave a jail in Portugal while he fights extradition to the United States.

The man is reported to have served seven years in a prison here for a murder in New Jersey in 1962.

He apparently escaped prison in the summer of 1970. Two years later, he reportedly dressed as a priest and along with others, hijacked a commercial airliner flying out of Detroit to Miami.

The hijackers were given $1 million in exchange for releasing the 86 passengers on the plane. The hijackers then made the pilot fly them to Boston and then on to the North Africa nation of Algeria.

The man later made his way to Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony in West Africa. There he was granted asylum and citizenship.

He then apparently became a citizen of Portugal when he married a Portuguese woman in 1991. The couple now has two grown children.

He has asked the Portuguese courts to allow him to serve the remaining years of his 15- to 30-year sentence in the southern European nation.

His lawyer told the press that proceedings in Portugal's criminal court system are confidential.

The man cannot leave his home and he cannot discuss the case with anyone, the attorney told reporters.

He lives in a modest home "near a stunning beach," the Associated Press reported, about 25 miles from Portugal's capital city of Lisbon.

The attorney says the man has no interest in running any more. He simply wants to serve the rest of his sentence in Portugal near his wife and children.

He was captured after officials matched a fingerprint on a Portuguese ID card to a fingerprint on file in the U.S.

Source: ABC News: "Lisbon Court Places US Fugitive Under House Arrest," Barry Hatton, Oct. 14, 2011