Fugitive Found Running Chapel Returning to Montana

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A fugitive who evaded execution after he was convicted in the shooting death of a good Samaritan was on his way back to Montana on Thursday — four decades after he fled the state while on parole.

Montana authorities said they had picked up Frank Dryman from an Arizona jail, where he has been held since his March 23 arrest. Montana Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Anez said the 78-year-old is being driven and is expected to arrive in the state Friday.

Dryman was originally sentenced to hang after admitting to the 1951 killing of Clarence Pellett, who had picked up Dryman as a 19-year-old drifter outside of Shelby.

The Montana Supreme Court heard Dryman’s case twice in the early 1950s after advocates interceded on his behalf. The case became a contentious fight over the death penalty, and his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was released on parole in 1969 after serving 15 years and disappeared three years later.

Dryman was running a wedding chapel in Arizona when he was arrested.

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