Living A New Life; Fugitive Caught After 33 Yrs On The Run - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Living A New Life; Fugitive Caught After 33 Yrs On The Run

She was on the run from authorities for over thirty years. But the crime that happened in Georgia back in 1972 finally caught up with her in East Texas. She was living a new life, in a new town, and found out that the past can't stay hidden forever.

Around the beauty salon she was known as Debra.

"Very quite, very polite, very nice," said Linda Veitch. "I thought I knew her because I cut her hair."

Debra Ann Murphey found a place to call home in Frankston, a small East Texas community where she lived with her husband and raised her two children.

"She was real quiet. Didn't say too much, but she would talk about her kids," said Linda.

She had gone to school in East Texas, earned a nursing degree, and worked at East Texas Medial Center as a nurse before quitting because of her medical conditions.

"You would have never known she had ever done anything in her whole life," said Linda. "In a little town everybody knows you. But they didn't know her real name."

Her real name was Debra Ann Gavin, a wanted fugitive.

"She was originally charged with robbery in Georgia 33 years ago," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Corey Britt.

She was sentenced to eight years in prison but escaped the low security rehab center six times. The last time she escaped: July of 1974. And she has been on the run ever since.

"You think you know people, but you don't know people," said Linda, "People have secrets and hers just caught up with her after all these years."

After walking around this close-nit community and talking to nearly every person we saw, they all said the same thing. That Debra and her husband Richard were nice, good people and they never could imagined this.

"This is kinda a first time for something like that," said Frankston Native Police Chief George Folmer.

He received a call Wednesday to assist the U.S. Marshals.

"I kinda wondered what was going on. In my mind I was going up the street to each residence I'm thinking I just don't know of anything that could be happening in that area of our city," said Folmer.

The Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force from Georgia had found Debra in East Texas, missing for 33 years. Authorities approached her Frankston home Wednesday and she answered the door.

"She said she needed to tend to her dogs. She was allowed to do that. While she was doing that she obtained a shotgun," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Corey Britt. "Pretty quick after we started talking to her and asking her to drop the gun, she complied."

"I did hear her say to one of the officers on the scene she knew this was coming. She just didn't know when," said Police Chief Folmer.

"When she got to the jail, she indicated to us that she was relieved. She was relieved it was finally behind her," said Deputy Britt "This should be a lesson to fugitives who have lived with this for years. 10 years, 20 years, in this case 30 years, that these things need to be addressed because they don't go away."

Gavin was booked into the Anderson County Jail and will be extradited to Georgia soon. There she faces the robbery and escape charges.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


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