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Fugitive on most wanted list is captured by U.S. marshals in Merced, Calif.

June 2, 2010 |  9:01 am

U.S. marshals have captured a convicted cop killer and child molester in Merced, Calif., ending his four-year run as one of America's most wanted fugitives, officials said.

Paul Clouston, 73, was arrested Tuesday after a viewer tipped off the "America’s Most Wanted" TV show. He had been added to the U.S. marshals' list of the 15 most wanted fugitives in November 2006.

The marshals' Central Valley joint fugitive task force made the arrest after learning Clouston had been working as a maintenance man for the last four years in a group home in Merced, said Deputy Marshal Kevin Connolly.

He was taken into custody without incident after marshals discovered him sitting in a chair outside the group home, reading a newspaper, Connolly said.

“The capture of Paul Clouston is a testament to the effectiveness of our 15 most wanted list and the partnerships we maintain with other law enforcement agencies,” said John F. Clark director of the U.S. Marshals Service. "It also speaks volumes to the value of someone doing the right thing and reporting a suspicious individual."

Clouston was wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution by the Virginia State Police for failing to register as a sex offender and by the Virginia Division of Probation and Parole for allegedly violating his parole on a conviction for the armed sexual assault of a child.

Clouston was convicted in 1973 on second-degree murder in the 1972 killing of a police detective in Buena Park, Calif. He was released from prison in 1982.

He was indicted on 17 counts of sexually abusing children in the Williamsburg, Va., area in 1991 and pleaded guilty to seven of those charges. He was returned to prison and paroled in 2005, when he becamea fugitive after failing to register as a sex offender, authorities said.

-- Richard Winton

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