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Ex-Fugitive Pleads For Freedom

A former fugitive says he's paid his debt to society by living a peaceful life for years. But Virginia authorities disagree, reports CBS News Correspondent Diana Olick.

Alfred Martin III has been a fugitive for 25 years. In 1974, he walked off a prison work camp in Virginia, where he was serving a year for selling a $10 bag of marijuana.

"I didn't do what they said I did in the first place," Martin says. "I didn't do it."

Although he was a fugitive, Martin wasn't exactly on the run. He moved to Detroit, married, raised three children, and built a mortgage business.

"If there is a debt to pay, then I have paid it," he says.

Before being discovered as a fugitive, Martin was leading a settled life as a husband, father and Michigan businessman.

When officials noticed him on a fugitive list 25 years after the fact, they extradited him and he'll be arraigned in Martinsville, Va., on charges of escape and larceny this month.

"It's not a message I want to send that you can sell drugs, leave the state and do well, you never have to answer for that," says Martinsville Commonwealth attorney Joan Ziglar.

Martin now has to face his past as well as face the prospect of life in jail, away from his family.

"When he's not there, there's no family," says the former fugitive's son, Alfred Martin IV.

If convicted, Martin could face up to 20 years behind bars, the penalty for 25 years of freedom.

Reported By Diana Olick