Judy Hayman, who escaped from a Michigan prison in 1977, is now preparing to fight extradition from California.
Hayman had completed half of her sentence for larceny when she escaped from a prison facility in Ypsilanti. She made her way to San Diego, where she raised a family under the name of Jamie Lewis.
A Michigan Corrections officer tracked her to San Diego, where she was arrested as a fugitive.
If Hayman vigorously fights extradition, it could be costly to the state of Michigan.
Legal expert Todd Flood explained the extradition begins with prosecutors making a request to then Governor.
"They have to show the location, the affidavit, the place in time where this crime occurred. The Governor will sign the warrant and then it will be submitted to the state to have her extradited back," Flood said.
A new twist has arisen in the case. Hayman's attorney claims she returned to Michigan in 1982, admitted to escaping from prison, and a court suspended her sentence.
Despite the potential costs of pursuing extradition, Todd Flood said the state has reasons to continue its effort to have Hayman brought back.
"It's a deterrent obviously and we look at that in justice that when someone is sentenced, one of the things you look at is deterrents," Flood said.
A San Diego judge has rejected the 60-year-old Hayman's request to be released from jail. The judge has given prosecutors more time to get the warrant for her extradition.