NC Wanted

Prison escapee arrested in Lillington after decades on the run

Posted July 20, 2015
Updated July 21, 2015

— Brenda G. Lucas had 35 years of freedom before her arrest last week in Lillington, authorities said Monday.

Lucas, 65, was convicted of drug possession charges in Lenoir County in July 1979, but she escaped six months into her three-year sentence, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Lillington police arrested her at the request of the FBI, where she was on a long-term escapee list.

Authorities said they believe Lucas lived in Lillington for three years and went by the alias of Brenda Turner.

“That is amazing to me, that someone could run for 35 years,” said Lillington Police Chief Frank Powers. “We do know she bounced around from state-to-state for a long time—Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina."

Lucas was being held Monday in the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh.

“Not many folks had heard about her around town. Initially she was surprised, and then I think the relief set in," Powers said. "She was telling someone the truth for the first time in a long time, probably.”

Acree said it is up to the parole commission to determine how long she will have to serve after being captured.


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  • Belle Boyd Jul 21, 2015
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    Well, she escaped 6 months in. I'm pretty sure she wasn't rehabilitated by then. The only reason she stayed out of trouble was to avoid getting caught. She was a fugitive...fugitives don't want to get caught. I'm not saying put her back in prison for her first sentence, but she did break the law. They will probably just put her on probation.

  • Belinda Warrick Jul 21, 2015
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    So prison is all about rehabilitation of criminals. I think she has done that if she has stayed out of trouble for this long. The only thing is has she been using a stolen identity and has she been using other identities to obtain stuff illegally. The penalty for the crime she was imprisoned for has been paid. If she hasn't committed any other crimes just cut her loose.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 21, 2015
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    I don't think her sentence was commuted.
    The only reason is was arrested was because she is a fugitive by law. I doubt they will do anything to her except maybe probation, but since the FBI requested her to be arrested she was.

  • Amy Kunkle Jul 21, 2015
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    Logistically speaking, if her original prison sentence had been commuted to an equivalent amount of time to serve on probation, she would have long ago paid her debt to society. So the point of all of this hoopla is....?!?!?

  • Lee Roy Jul 21, 2015
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    Our fine government at work.....what a joke

  • Seth Roberts Jul 21, 2015
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    As previously stated, drug charges, no harm since....let her go. She has spent 35 yrs surely ducking and running, never relaxing fully, never living up to her potential for fear of being found. That's prison in itself. Give her another weekend in jail and cut her loose to go live her life.

  • Susan Olvera Jul 20, 2015
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    Our government at its finest, right? Releasing pedophiles into the general public and then going after this woman. You know the "report card" that's published once a year on our local school? I'd love to see on on our local judges.

  • William Cosby Jul 20, 2015
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    She looks like she's still high, 35 years later.

  • Robin Cubbon Jul 20, 2015
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    i do agree that it is a waste of tax payer money to pursue this and frankly petty too. to return this lady to jail disrupts her life, she loses her job, probably her house. that's not justice; that's vengeance.

  • Jon Brabender Jul 20, 2015
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    The point of prison is to make sure people don't harm society...I would say she is no threat at this point if she has been "good" for 35 years! STOP WASTING MONEY