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Years on the lam end with life in prison

Alan Boyd Curtis killed a man in a traffic dispute in 1982.

Alan Boyd Curtis killed a man in a traffic dispute in 1982.

LARGO — Alan Boyd Curtis dodged the law for 11 years after killing a man in Largo in 1982. When he was finally caught, he conned his way out of a harsh sentence.

In 1999, Boyd was charged with rape and robbery but was spared prison time. And in 2005, he jetted to France after coming under investigation for another rape. When police arrested him there, he skipped bail and fled to Spain, where he eventually was arrested again and extradited to Pinellas County.

On Thursday evening, Curtis' run from the law was over. Judge Joseph Bulone sentenced him to life in prison after a jury convicted him for the 2005 rape.

Curtis, 54, was convicted of raping a woman on his boat in the Gulf of Mexico. Curtis met the woman at work and said he would take her fishing. But once out to sea, he threw her cell phone overboard and raped her.

When she jumped in the water, he told her that her options were to drown, freeze, get eaten by sharks or get back on the boat. She came aboard and he assaulted her again.

She reported the incident to authorities after getting back to land; Curtis left the country.

It wasn't the first time he ran away. Curtis was charged with using a frog gig — a spear-like weapon used for hunting — to kill a man during a traffic dispute in 1982. He fled the area before trial and remained at large until he was captured in Oregon in 1993.

The family of the victim, Joe Valerio, began to visit Curtis in the jail and, citing their faith in God, came to forgive him. Family members persuaded prosecutors to downgrade the charge to manslaughter, and Curtis was spared from prison.

Valerio's brother told the St. Petersburg Times in 2007 that he regretted that choice.

"He manipulated Christianity and made everybody believe he was a changed man," David Valerio said.

"He's a con artist. A major con artist. He needs to be in a cage for the rest of his life."

Years on the lam end with life in prison 05/23/08 [Last modified: Sunday, May 25, 2008 11:49am]
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