Federal fugitive captured after nearly 50 years on the run

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man who was serving a life sentence for murder when he escaped custody while attending his grandmother’s funeral nearly 50 years ago has been arrested in Michigan, the FBI announced Friday.

Leonard Rayne Moses was 16 when he was convicted in the 1968 killing of Mary Amplo during civil unrest in Pittsburgh following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Authorities said Moses and his friends fire-bombed Amplo’s house. Badly burned, Amplo, 72, died a few months later.

Moses was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole. He escaped from custody while attending his grandmother’s 1971 funeral in Pittsburgh. Authorities said he wound up in Michigan, where he was living under the assumed name of Paul Dickson and had been working as a traveling pharmacist since at least 1999.

The FBI caught up to Moses after he was charged earlier this year with stealing prescription painkillers from a pharmacy in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, where he worked, authorities said. Moses’ fingerprints were entered into a nationwide database in October, and they matched the prints from his 1968 arrest, the FBI said.

An FBI fugitive task force arrested Moses without incident Thursday at his home in Grand Blanc, Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman of the FBI Pittsburgh’s office said at a news conference Friday.

“I know the arresting officers yelled the name ‘Moses’ and they got a response,” he said.

Moses was being held in the Genesee County Jail pending extradition. It wasn’t clear if he had a lawyer.

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