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Fugitive Judge Is Found Dead in Vegas Hotel

March 29, 1994| From Associated Press

A former judge committed suicide in a Las Vegas hotel room, ending a four-year flight from justice after he was charged with stealing $1.8 million entrusted to him in his private law practice.

John C. Fairbanks, 70, of New Hampshire was found with a plastic bag over his head in his hotel room, where he left a note taped to a mirror, Metro Police Sgt. Bill Keeton said Monday.

Fairbanks disappeared Dec. 28, 1989, a day after he was indicted. An extensive investigation yielded few clues, despite the help of national TV crime programs, such as "America's Most Wanted."

Fairbanks checked into the MGM Grand Hotel on Thursday under another name and overstayed the two nights he paid for, Keeton said. On Sunday, hotel employees broke into the room, which was locked from the inside with a deadbolt.

"He left a note that can be interpreted as a suicide note," Keeton said. Coroner Ron Flud said an autopsy determined that Fairbanks died of asphyxiation. He ruled the death a suicide.

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