James Manion, Florida fugitive, hid in North Carolina

James Manion fugitive

James Manion, a fugitive accused of attempting to assassinate a politician, was hiding in plain sight for over 40 years. Believe it or not, Mr. Manion, a passionate Republican, got married, lived in a quiet community and ran a mom and pop business and was loved by his neighbors.

Manion has been residing in Reidsville, North Carolina since the 1980s where he operated a wallpaper store with his wife, Sheryl Manion, and helped his friends whenever they needed him. Preston Trigg, who has a been close friend to the Manions since 2002, said:

“I couldn’t say enough nice things about both of them. There was never an inkling of anything amiss.”

Dog groomer Kim Merricks said the couple truly loved their Portuguese water dog named Prancer and added:

“He lit up every time he talked about his dog. He loved that dog. That was his baby.”

Another neighbor shared:

“I’m still kind of numb about it.I’m still waiting on proof that it’s him because he was such a nice guy.”

However, Manion has a very dark past. In 1977, Manion, whose real name is William Claybourne Taylor, shot and killed a former immigration official and wounded a Florida mayor. He was indicted in 1980 on charges of murder and aggravated battery, but vanished.

Authorities arrested the killer two weeks ago, but would not say how they found him. Thursday, the criminal appeared in court for his extradition hearing and said nothing. His lawyer agreed to send him back to Florida.