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Fugitive from Utah captured in Clearwater homeless shelter's breakfast line

CLEARWATER — Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrested a Utah fugitive Thursday at a Clearwater homeless shelter.

Timothy Harner, 49, has been wanted by Utah authorities for two years after he left without authorization from a halfway house where he was serving parole for a sexual assault conviction.

Harner was taken into custody around 9:20 a.m. Thursday morning as he waited in line for breakfast at the Clearwater Homeless Intervention Project at 1339 Park St., according to the Sheriff's Office.

The U.S. Marshals Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force asked the Sheriff's Office for help Wednesday after learning from counterparts in Utah that Harner may be a transient in the Clearwater area.

In March 2008, Harner left the Freemont Correctional Community Center in Salt Lake City, where he was assigned to serve parole.

He had been convicted of sexual abuse of a child, a second degree felony, in November 2001, according to records from the Utah Department of Corrections. Harner was to be on parole until 2015 for the crime, which was committed in Utah.

He was charged Thursday with violating his parole. Harner was also arrested on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender in Pinellas County.

Detectives said Harner has been in the area for at least a year. They said he first signed into the shelter in January 2009, using his brother's identification.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Harner was convicted in Manatee County in 1980 on a charge of sexual assault and sentenced to five years of probation.

In 1990, he was convicted of use of a child in sexual performance and lewd and lascivious conduct in Pinellas County, court records show. He was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by 10 years of probation.

Rita Farlow can be reached at farlow@sptimes or (727) 445-4157.

Fugitive from Utah captured in Clearwater homeless shelter's breakfast line 01/28/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 29, 2010 11:13am]
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