Accused Mich. fugitive caught in San Diego fights extradition - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Accused Mich. fugitive caught in San Diego fights extradition

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This video screen image shows 60-year-old Judy Hayman in a San Diego courtroom Thursday, February 6, 2014. This video screen image shows 60-year-old Judy Hayman in a San Diego courtroom Thursday, February 6, 2014.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — A local woman accused of escaping a Michigan jail 37 years ago is fighting extradition.

Michigan authorities say Judy Hayman, 60, escaped from a prison in 1977 and remained a fugitive until being found in a Hillcrest apartment living under the name Jamie Lewis.

The hearing Thursday for Hayman was quick. In court, the suspected fugitive refused to admit she is who police say she is. Her lawyer says it's her right to do so.

"In order to be able to look at the underlying facts and make a determination as to what the truth is and find out what the truth is. And then once we find out what the truth is then we can make a statement to the world," Hayman's attorney Lisa Damiani said.

In the meantime, authorities are making sure the long time fugitive can't skip town.

"She will be held without bail because California allows that she be held without bail because she is an escapee from another state," Deputy D.A. Richard Madruga said.

That other state is Michigan, where in 1976 Hayman pleaded guilty to trying to steal clothes from a Detriot-area store, but she only served part of her sentence. Authorities say she escaped from prison, and they finally tracked her to San Diego 37 years later.

Hayman's story is very similar that of Susan LeFever, who now goes by Marie Walsh. She also escaped from a Mighigan prison in the 70s and was arrested here in San Diego 32 years later. She says Hayman is in for a rough journey.

"It was very, very hard on my family. I thought at sometimes we wouldn't be able to hold together. It really just shattered them," Walsh said.

Walsh accuses states of targeting low-risk escapees like Hayman because the prison system gets money for each criminal they house. She says when you add it all up, going after people like Hayman just isn't worth it.

"This is absurd. And the money they'll spend and the suffering they'll put this woman through. She did not hurt anybody. Give her a fine. Give her some community service," Walsh said.

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