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Wanted U.S. Man Is Arrested in Thailand

July 04, 2002|From Associated Press

BANGKOK, Thailand — Thai police raided a beachside condominium and arrested an American wanted for the highly publicized slaying of his socialite wife in Atlanta 15 years ago, officials said Wednesday.

James Vincent Sullivan, who had been under police surveillance for weeks, was arrested Tuesday night in a condominium in the Cha-am beach resort, 100 miles south of Bangkok, said police Col. Somchai Yoklek.

He said Sullivan's arrest was requested by the FBI. Sullivan, 61, has been indicted in the United States on charges of hiring someone to kill his estranged wife, Lita McClinton Sullivan, in 1987.

Sullivan is being held while the Foreign Ministry organizes extradition proceedings, police Maj. Gen. Surasit Sangkhaphong said.

Sullivan, who also has Irish citizenship, is listed on the FBI Web site as one of the agency's most-wanted fugitives.

U.S. authorities allege that Sullivan, a millionaire investor from Palm Beach County, Fla., paid someone $25,000 to kill his wife to avoid losing property in a costly divorce.

The alleged hit man was arrested in April 1998 and is on trial in Atlanta for murder.

Sullivan is believed to have left Florida for Costa Rica soon after the killing. It is not clear when Sullivan arrived in Thailand, but he obtained a resident visa in 1998 and married a local woman.

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