Fugitive couple facing murder charges back in custody

Fugitive couple facing murder charges back in custody

Blane and Susan Barksdale were located and arrested without incident by the Navajo County Sheriff's Office and the US Marshals Service, the Sheriff's Department announced on its Facebook page late Wednesday.

Blane Barksdale, 56, and wife Susan Barkdale, 59, escaped custody August 26 while they were being extradited from NY to Arizona in the alleged first-degree murder of Frank Bligh, 72, according to US Marshals.

Authorities have said the couple overpowered two private security guards in the transport van they were travelling in after Susan Barksdale faked a medical emergency while they were in Utah.

Spectrum News reports Blane and Susan Barkdale spent most of the summer at the Monroe County Jail in Rochester after being caught in May.

Authorities said earlier this week that the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang, and the Hells Angels motorcycle gang may have been assisting the couple.

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The Barksdales escaped last month while being transported from NY to Arizona in connection with the murder of 72-year-old Frank Bligh in Phoenix. "The Navajo County Sheriff's Office assisted the US Marshall's Service in capturing the fugitives this evening". His house was set on fire and his vehicle was stolen in April. Hundreds of people called in, believing they had seen the Sierra pickup, Gonzales, said, but none of the calls panned out.

Payson, Arizona is around 257 miles southwest of Blanding, Utah, where the escape occurred, and around 90 miles west of Vernon, Arizona, where authorities think the couple got the truck. They then tied up the guards as well as a third inmate who was in the van, said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona, at a news conference Monday.

But once the two unarmed guards opened the back door, the Barksdales attacked, he said.

The charges against the Barksdales before they got away included first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson of an occupied structure, criminal damage and auto theft.

The Barksdales were arrested in upstate NY in May following a nationwide manhunt, officials said.

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