Arkansas wants fugitive granted asylum in Michigan sent back - New York News

Arkansas wants convicted killer granted asylum in Michigan sent back

Posted: Updated:
Michigan Governor Bill Milliken gave Lester Stiggers asylum in 1970. Michigan Governor Bill Milliken gave Lester Stiggers asylum in 1970.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

Lester Stiggers is a 63-year-old man who has suffered so many strokes he can barely walk or speak.  But in 1965 in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, he was a boy in Arkansas convicted of murder.  When Stiggers was just 14, he shot and killed his abusive father.

"I was always scared of him," he said.

However, Stiggers and his family say the judge and jury never heard any of that.

"The trial only lasted a day.  The lawyer that he had didn't even speak, didn't have any type of defense," said L'Downne Hampton, Stiggers' daughter.

The teen was sentenced to life in prison, a prison so brutal it was the subject of a federal court case, documentaries and a blockbuster movie.  Many prisoners were forced to pick cotton, tortured and murdered.

After five years behind bars, Stiggers was granted a furlough and temporarily released, and that is when he fled to Michigan.  Governor Bill Milliken offered him asylum based on the horrific conditions.

However, Stiggers and his daughter said he has never really felt free.

"He has never left the State of Michigan.  He lives in fear every day that he could go back.  Every time we're anywhere driving, if he sees the police, he gets afraid," Hampton explained.

Now this man's fears could soon be realized.  The State of Arkansas is asking Governor Snyder to send him back to finish that life sentence.

"Please don't send me back to Arkansas because I already know what they're going to do to me," Stiggers said.

Arkansas may want him sent back, but the question is what will Michigan do?  We took that question to Fox 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton.

"I don't think Governor Snyder is going to send this guy back to Arkansas.  Here's the deal.  You have to look at the last order of any legitimate court or governor.  That was Governor Milliken, and at the time Governor Milliken rightfully believed that he should not go back to Arkansas because of the disastrous state of the prisons there.  That's a legitimate order.  I believe the governor at the time has the absolute duty to investigate everything.  Governor Milliken did.  That's the last order of the court.  This guy's staying right here in Michigan," he said.

Stiggers and his family are hoping Langton is right and Stiggers will spend what is left of his life in the state he calls home.

"I'm hoping that Rick Snyder tells them no.  I'm hoping that he sends them something back saying at this point this man is 60 plus years old.  What do you have to benefit from bringing him back?  Just leave him alone," Hampton said.

Snyder's office told me this matter is still under review, and they can't say when the governor will make a decision.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Joan Rivers on life support

    Joan Rivers on life support

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 2:03 PM EDT2014-09-02 18:03:07 GMT

    Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

    Joan Rivers' family is confirming that the comedian is on life support after going into cardiac arrest last week during a procedure at a doctor's office.

  • Dispute over reclining seat on another flight

    Dispute over reclining seat on another flight

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:54 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:54:18 GMT
    A Delta Air Lines flight from La Guardia Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of a dispute between passengers over a reclining seat. Delta reportedly says the flight was diverted Monday night when a woman got into an argument with a passenger behind her when the woman was trying to recline her seat while the other passenger was trying to sleep on the tray table.
    A Delta Air Lines flight from La Guardia Airport to West Palm Beach, Florida, was diverted to Jacksonville because of a dispute between passengers over a reclining seat. Delta reportedly says the flight was diverted Monday night when a woman got into an argument with a passenger behind her when the woman was trying to recline her seat while the other passenger was trying to sleep on the tray table.
  • Report: Joan Rivers on slow road to recovery

    Report: Joan Rivers on slow road to recovery

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:52 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:52:39 GMT

    Hollywood icon Joan Rivers, 81, is reportedly on a slow road to recovery after she went into cardiac arrest at a New York City doctor's office. Rivers remains in serious condition at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, according to her daughter, Melissa Rivers.  Doctors were expected to slowly remove Rivers from a medically-induced coma on Tuesday to asses her brain functionality.

    Hollywood icon Joan Rivers, 81, is reportedly on a slow road to recovery after she went into cardiac arrest at an Upper East Side doctor's office last week. While some reports indicate she is doing better, her daughter, Melissa Rivers, issued a statement on Tuesday saying Joan Rivers is on life support "at this time." Doctors were expected to slowly remove Rivers from a medically-induced coma on Tuesday to asses her brain functionality.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices