Area fugitive is captured in Massachusetts


Published: Friday, September 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 11:32 p.m.
Authorities nab area fugitive in Massachusetts
One of Alachua County's most wanted fugitives was arrested in Massachusetts Wednesday night following a joint investigation by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.
Robert A. Whitehouse, 41, was arrested at his sister's house and taken to the Plymouth County Jail on charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery involving his live-in girlfriend, according to Deputy U.S. Marshal John Blount and the Sheriff's Office.
Alachua County had been working with the Marshals Service to capture Whitehouse since Aug. 1. Sheriff's Office investigator Leroy Bishop contacted the federal agency for assistance after Whitehouse fled the state, deputies reported.
Officers were searching for Whitehouse after they reported he tried to shoot his girlfriend on July 24 because she wanted to end their relationship. The woman's son grabbed the gun and pushed it away, saving the woman from getting shot, Blount said.
Witnesses told investigators the incident started when Whitehouse followed the woman home from Hitchcock's store in Hawthorne. When she refused to get into the car with him, Whitehouse told her, "You just signed your death warrant."
After the woman escaped from Whitehouse, he continued to call her, Blount said. But Whitehouse had the phone numbers he was using blocked so the caller ID on her phone did not show where he was calling from. Blount said that by subpoenaing phone records, investigators were able to trace the calls and locate Whitehouse.
Pending extradition, Whitehouse will return to Alachua County, where he will face criminal charges.
Sun staff reporter Lise Fisher contributed to this report.

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