Thursday, January 29, 2009
Fugitive Soccer Mom To Be Freed from Prison
Lansing, MI-- Susan Lefevrere now known as Marie Walsh escaped from a Michigan prison more than three decades ago. She was a first time offending teenager who got a 10 to 20 year prison sentence for selling a small amount of heroin to an undercover cop. That prison term was off the charts in harshness considering she pled guilty and was expecting probation.
Since her 1976 breakout Walsh turned her life around, moved to the San Diego area and raised a photogenic family with her husband. She lived in an upper-class Carmel Valley neighborhood and enjoyed the American dream. She became a solid member of the community and never looked back or reoffended.
That all changed when there was a rude knock at the door on April 24, 2008. It was a deputy United States Marshall and Walsh’s blessed world came crashing down. Someone had informed on Walsh.
Despite pleas from hundreds of friends and supporters Michigan officials wanted their pound of flesh from this now middle-aged woman who was no threat to anyone. They bagged her and put her on a prison bus back to Michigan.
An utterly worthless and vindictive Wayne County Prosecutor wanted even more and prosecuted Walsh for that ancient escape. That brought an additional five-year probation term along with lots of legal fees.
Finally there is light at the end of a very dark and ugly tunnel. Today the Michigan parole board voted 10-0 to release Walsh on May 19, 2009.
That action has shaved years off of Walsh’s original sentence but the subsequent punishment was wasted on the woman who long ago chose the right path of honorable behavior.
Walsh should have been forgiven or pardoned but instead suffered unnecessary humiliation and excessive additional punishment. The process has been nothing short of a continuing emotional nightmare
When she is released in May she will have lost 13 months of her life she or her family will never see again. That was a meaningless exercise that was unnecessarily cruel.
If there is something good here it’s that Walsh will never have to look over her shoulder or fear a knock at her door again. I hope to welcome Marie back to freedom on a nice spring day.