35 years on the run

35 Years On The Run
Fugitive that escaped Mississippi prison in 1980 found living under assumed identity in Utah.

WELLINGTON, Utah (KSL) A man who escaped from a Mississippi prison in 1980 and has lived in Utah under an alias for more than 20 years has been arrested.

Sam Gene Harris was arrested Thursday at his home in Wellington, where he had been living under the name Wayne Edward Stevens, according to Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood.

“He’s been living there for 23 years,” Wood said, “right under everybody’s noses.”

Harris, 62, was serving a four-year sentence for shoplifting and possession of burglary tools when he escaped from prison in November 1980, according to Mississippi Department of Corrections spokeswoman Tara Scott.

Records about the escape are so old that corrections staff would have to go through microfiche to provide additional details about the incident, Scott said.

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