Convicted killer who escaped 40 years ago lands on Marshals ‘most wanted’ list

CLEVELAND– A convicted killer who escaped in Columbus 40 years ago is now on the U.S. Marshals “15 most wanted” list and there’s a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Lester Eubanks shot and bludgeoned 14-year-old Mary Ellen Deener to death in Mansfield on Nov. 14, 1965, Marshals said. He was out on bond for attempted rape at the time and authorities said he was trying to sexually assault the teen when he killed her.

A jury found Eubanks guilty and sentenced him to death, but that sentence was commuted when Ohio got rid of the death penalty.

In 1973, prison officials took him to a shopping center in Columbus, where he was allowed to shop as a reward for good behavior. Marshals said he failed to return for his scheduled pickup and has been considered an escapee ever since.

Lester Eubanks (Composite courtesy: U.S. Marshals Service)

“While the Eubanks’ case is designated as a cold case, I want to assure the public our investigation into his whereabouts is very active,” said U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Anderson in a news release on Friday.

Eubanks, now 75, is 5 foot 11 with black hair and brown eyes. He may be living under the alias Victor Young. The Marshals Service said they’ve followed leads in Michigan and California.

“Lester Eubanks has had a lot of time on the lam,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal David Siler. “Fugitives on the run as long as Eubanks tend to use that time to change their appearance, use aliases, and even start new lives. He literally could be hiding in plain sight. This is why we are asking citizens to be vigilant and contact us with any information they believe will help us apprehend him.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102.