Fugitive From Murder Charges in Trinity County Arrested After 20 Years on the Run
On June 6, 1997, David MacLeod, a 68-year-old-rancher, was found dead in his home near the remote town of Kettenpom in western Trinity County. Daniel Clemons and a woman had reportedly visited him on June 4th. Clemons quickly became a suspect and disappeared.For the next twenty years, he tried to stay off law enforcement’s radar though at least twice he was arrested. “Once in Texas and once in Colorado, [Clemons] gave a false name but by the time the fingerprints came back to say who he really was, he was gone,” explained Deputy U.S. Marshal Billy Banks.
This last Friday, his luck ran out. Clemons was arrested in Okay, Oklahoma where he had lived at least 10 years doing odd jobs.
According to Banks, “We got information from a confidential informant that he was living there under the name of Steven Shade.”
Banks who works in the area said at first they investigated through records. “We tried to do some checking. We couldn’t find an ID or a Social Security number for Steven Shade.” When that didn’t work, Banks said he, “conducted what little surveillance that I could.”
Eventually, the US Marshals showed up at Clemons’ trailer at 6 a.m on Friday, August 25. “He came right to the door,” Banks said. “He immediately admitted he was Daniel Clemons. He said it has been a long run [and] he was glad it was over.”
Banks said that Clemons had been living with a woman for 13 years. “She was very surprised and only knew him as Steven Shade,” he explained. “She was very shocked that morning.”
Right now, Banks said Clemons needs to sign extradition papers before being sent back to Trinity County to face trial. “I don’t think he was wanting to fight it,” Banks said after explaining that Clemons maintained his innocence.