SUFFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ A career criminal in Connecticut known as the Peanut Butter Bandit will be released on parole next year after serving half a 20-year prison sentence for sexual assault, burglary and escaping from custody.

The Hartford Courant reports that the state Board of Pardons and Paroles granted parole to 66-year-old Frederick Merrill on Wednesday for an undetermined date next year. He was sentenced in 2003 and is eligible for parole in three months.

Merrill got his nickname in 1968 after escaping from a state prison using a gun hidden in a peanut butter jar that his mother had brought him.

Merrill also escaped from a Somers prison in 1987 while awaiting trial for the beating and rape of a South Windsor woman. He was caught in Canada the next year.
Information from: The Hartford Courant,

     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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