Monday, December 21, 2009

Mo. judge releases Florida's most-wanted fugitive

Hours after Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents heralded the arrest of one of the 12 most-wanted fugitives at a news conference today, The Associated Press told the agency Oscar Richardson had been released from jail in Tainey County, Mo., on a $25,000 bond.

The news prompted an angry response from agency commissioner Gerald Bailey, who blasted the Missouri judge for allowing the release.

"I am shocked and extremely disappointed by the irresponsible decision of Judge Tony Williams to allow Oscar Richardson to post bond," Bailey said. "Allowing this fugitive to walk out of a courtroom after hiding from authorities for 30 years diminishes the seriousness of his crimes and shows a lack of sensitivity for those he victimized."

Jim Madden, the special agent in charge of the agency’s Tampa office, said Richardson was surprised when authorities showed up in Ridgedale, Mo., near the Arkansas state line over the weekend.

Read an updated story here, with a full report in the Bradenton Herald Tuesday.

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