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Church deacon, fugitive in 1981 killing, arrested in Texas

By David DeKok

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - A 78-year-old church deacon in Texas has been arrested for a Pennsylvania murder after 33 years as a fugitive, authorities said on Tuesday.

Joseph Lewis Miller was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Mineola, Texas, on Monday and faces extradition for the 1981 killing in Harrisburg.

"If he waives extradition, he'll be back in about two weeks. If he fights it, it will take a couple of months," said Marty Pane, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Miller is suspected of murdering Thomas Waller in January 1981, shooting him once in the head. Miller was previously convicted of murder in Harrisburg in 1959 and served 11 years in prison, according to CNN.

Authorities do not know how long he served as a church deacon in Mineola, a town of about 4,500 people about 85 miles east of Dallas.

Miller was living in Mineola under the name Roy Eubanks with his wife of four years, the U.S. Marshals said. A woman who answered the phone at the house late on Tuesday said his wife had left that morning and had not returned.

Pane said U.S. Marshals received a tip about a month ago that identified his alias. A cold-case officer concluded that Roy Eubanks was Joseph Lewis Miller.

Miller is being held in the Wood County Jail. Pane said he had a hearing on Monday at which the charges against him were read but had not had an opportunity to say if he would fight extradition.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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