An Ohio man who spent 56 years escaping authorities has been granted parole after getting caught again last year, according to NBC News. Frank Freshwaters, who is known as the "Shawshank Fugitive" because of his escape from the prison featured in the 1994 film "Shawshank Redemption," was successfully granted parole on Wednesday after his attorney argued that he had lived a clean life and never forgot the accident in which he struck and killed a man.
Freshwaters was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in 1959, when he was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and five years probation for the car accident in which he killed pedestrian Eugene Flynt, according to Reuters.
He spent some time in Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio and then another lower security prison, where he was "quickly able to earn the trust of the prison officials" and escaped in 1959, spending the rest of his life under different names and states, CNN reported.
Freshwater was captured again last May in Florida, where officers reportedly showed him a picture of himself in 1959 and asked whether he knew that person, to which Freshwaters said that he "hadn't seen him in a long time" before admitting "you got me," according to The Examiner. His parole is based on his clean record, although the prosecutor's office has opposed the release.
"Freshwaters failed to comply with his probation, and did not pay a dime of the $1,500 he was ordered to pay in restitution," Summit County prosecutors said in a statement. "He has spent nearly 60 years avoiding taking responsibility for what happened."
Freshwaters' children were relieved at the decision to release their father, who will be released on April 24, just a week after his 80th birthday. One of his sons was born shortly after the accident that put him in prison and said that he looks forward to getting to know Freshwaters better.