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Fugitive, Wanted for 30 Years, Back in Arizona. Guy Was Arrested 14 Times While on Run

An Ohio man convicted of beating his landlord to death in Phoenix in 1978 is back in Arizona today after leaving the state in violation of his probation more than 30 years ago.

John Whitting, living in central Ohio since leaving Arizona, was arrested 14 times while on the run, but nobody made the connection that he was a wanted man.

The crimes of which Whiting, 51, was convicted during this time weren't small potatoes, either. They include driving with a blood-alcohol content of .167 and suggesting a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old.

In 2007, police said he pointed a gun at three juveniles and asked who wanted to go first. He was arrested for aggravated menacing but was convicted of a lesser charge and fined.

Whiting, living under the alias "Gregory Pierce," originally was convicted of manslaughter for beating his landlord to death after an argument in 1978. He served a year in jail and was sentenced to five years' probation. While on probation for about six months, Whiting left Maricopa County and has been considered a fugitive since September 16, 1980.

While on the run, Whiting was fingerprinted each time he was arrested. The fingerprints were entered into an FBI database, but nobody in law enforcement made the connection between "Pierce" and the outstanding warrant for Whiting.

Whiting was booked into a Maricopa County jail on Saturday. He's being held without bail.


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