Branson man pleads guilty to escaping from Florida prison 30 years ago

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | 5:02 p.m. CDT

BRANSON — A man who lived in Branson for 26 years pleaded guilty Monday to escaping from a Florida prison in 1979.

Oscar Richardson, who was known in Branson as Eugene Ward, will be returned to Florida to serve his prison time.

Richardson was arrested in December after an anonymous tip. He had served two years of a 10-year sentence for two armed robberies before escaping from a Florida work facility.

While living in Branson, he ran a lawn company and was a handyman.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Richardson's attorney, Christopher Smith, said lawyers had agreed on a sentence recommendation of a year and a day for every year Richardson had left on his sentence. Florida records show he had eight years left on his sentence.

He'll be sentenced June 7.

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