Sherman fugitive on the run for 48 years testifies going back to jail would be bad for health

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SHERMAN--It's been 48 years since Robert Stackowitz escaped a Georgia prison after being convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 17 years, and now it may be time to face the music.

Stackowitz, 71, appeared in court on Monday as part of extradition hearings that are ongoing. Nothing was decided, and he will learn his fate on August 1, but he had a lot to say.

After being arrested in May, Stackowitz spent five days in a Bridgeport correctional facility, and he says even that was too much for him.

"I got out and ended up in the hospital with kidney failure because I didn't get enough water when I was in jail," Stackowitz said.

He appeared at court in a wheelchair on Monday, and said he is suffering from "heart problems, and both my legs are in casts."

His attorney, Norm Pattis, claims the trip to Georgia alone would be detrimental to his client's health. Pattis is hoping his client's medical records will show this, and that Georgia will commute the remaining 15 years of Stockwitz's sentence.

Stackowtiz was known for years in Sherman as Bob Gordon, until his cover was blown when applied for social security with his real name, Stackowitz.