Federal, local authorities nab fugitive in Mesa - East Valley Tribune: News

Federal, local authorities nab fugitive in Mesa

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Posted: Friday, March 7, 2008 12:28 am | Updated: 10:24 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

After 22 days on the run, a man authorities said escaped from a Phoenix half-way house while serving time for his involvement in the death of an officer was captured early Thursday morning.

Frank Banashley Jr., 26, was apprehended at the Village Motel, 2131 W. Main St., in Mesa. Banashely had been sentenced to 108 months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, for his role in the shooting death of a police officer of the White Mountain Apache Reservation, said Deputy Matt Hershey, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals.

In 1999, Banashley was convicted in U.S. District Court for accessory after the fact, following the murder of an officer during a routine traffic stop. The man’s father, Frank Banashley Sr., shot and killed the officer during an altercation, Hershey said. He said the older man was sentenced to 42 years in prison.

Authorities did not give details about the actions of Frank Banashley Jr. during the fatal altercation involving his father, but Hershey said that often those accused of accessory after the fact are guilty of contributing and aiding in a particular crime.

According to authorities, deputies learned about Banashely whereabouts early Thursday morning. Deputies and Mesa police arrived at the motel where the escapee was hiding and were able to execute the arrest without incident, authorities said.

“He had been missing from February 13th up until this morning,” Hershey said Thursday.

Banashely is currently in custody of U.S. Marshals pending escape charges, Hershey said. The U.S. Marshal’s office credited other local agencies who contributed to the investigation and capture of the escapee.

“The level of interagency cooperation exhibited during this operation was second to none; this resulted in the capture of a violent felon and made the Valley a safer place,” said U.S. Marshal David Gonzales.

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