Husband-and-wife murder suspects captured after escape

A husband and wife wanted in an April murder in Tucson and who overpowered two guards to escape custody late last month have been captured, the U.S. Marshals Service said late Wednesday.

Details about the capture of Blane Barksdale, 56, and Susan Barksdale, 59, who escaped in Utah while being extradited from upstate New York to Arizona on Aug. 26, were not immediately released.

The Barksdales are charged in the murder of Frank Bligh, 72, whose body has not been found. His Tucson home was set on fire April 16, and authorities have said the blaze was started to cover up the killing.

Susan Barksdale feigned an illness to get the van they were in to stop as they were being extradited to Arizona, and when the vehicle pulled over near Blanding, Utah, they overpowered the two guards when they opened the rear doors, U.S. marshal for Arizona David Gonzales has told the Associated Press.

Neither of the guards were hurt, but they were bound with shoelaces, Gonzales said. A third inmate in the van wanted no part of the escape.

The Barksdales drove the van with the three captives locked inside to Vernon, Arizona, where they got a red GMC truck from an acquaintance and abandoned the van and their prisoners, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Earlier this week, Blane Barksdale’s name was added to the U.S. Marshals’ 15 “most wanted” list, and authorities said that he is a career criminal with likely links to the Aryan Brotherhood and white supremacist gangs.

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