PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona woman says her husband believed he was in the clear after escaping from an Iowa prison 37 years ago and they were both shocked when authorities arrested him earlier this week.
Police said Charles "Chuck" Leroy Cagley was serving a sentence for second-degree robbery in 1981 when he left a minimum security work detail. They arrested him on an active felony extraditable warrant after the FBI notified the Prescott Valley Police that the 68-year-old was living there.
"I think it's ridiculous," said Cagley's wife, Virginia. "If it was a paper mix up, I hope they get their paperwork straightened out, so it doesn't happen to other people."
Virginia said when she saw who was at the door Tuesday, she had a feeling it was tied to the case Cagley was convicted of. She was right.
Virginia said the incident was sparked by a flashback Cagley had from combat in Vietnam.
"So he shot up the gas station, and the guy that was with him freaked out and robbed the guy, and then they took off, and Chuck is the only one that went down for it," said Virginia.
Virginia said no one was injured, and Cagley was sentenced to a nearly five-year jail sentence. Virginia claims both she and Cagley took off together, because they were in fear for their lives.
"They threatened me," Virginia said. "They told him that they would take care of me, you know, the prison guys. So, we left. We didn't know what else to do."
Years later, after constant worrying, Virginia said Cagley hired a private investigator, who got a letter in 2006, apparently from an Iowa prison warden, that a warrant against Cagley had been withdrawn.
"Letter sent in, saying all is gone, and here we are again," said Virginia.
Due to the letter, Virginia said Cagley began using his own name a decade ago. They thought it was in the past.
"It's very frustrating," said Virginia. "It's, like, will this every really go away? I'm definitely going to bring this paper. He carries it around with him."
Virginia said Cagley has refused extradition. Now, she is working to get him out of jail. Meanwhile, authorities say Cagley will be extradited back to Iowa.