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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

January 25, 2004
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Police Say Fugitive Used Dead Step-Brother's Name For Years

The Associated Press

BENTON, Ky. (AP) -- A man wanted by police in Indiana and Pennsylvania has been arrested after living in western Kentucky under his dead stepbrother's name, authorities say.

George Wesley Smalley, 35, was arrested at his home Thursday and is being held in the Herman B. Ford Detention Center without bond. An extradition hearing in Marshall County District Court is scheduled for Monday.

Smalley had used the name of David Warnick, who police say died in 1984 at age 6. He was charged with possessing false driver's licenses from three states and lying to police.

Marshall County Chief Deputy David Maddox said the sheriff's department made the arrest after receiving a tip that a man calling himself David Warnick was a fugitive.

A warrant issued in February 1999 charges Smalley with failure to appear in a felony case out of Hendricks County, Ind. He was charged with operating on a suspended license and possessing a false license.

A Pennsylvania State Police warrant from May 2001 charged Smalley with possessing altered, forged or counterfeit documents or plates and making false statements to police.

Smalley was involved in a car accident near Uniontown, Pa., in October 2000 and told police he was Warnick, Maddox said. He showed an Ohio driver's license and Social Security card under the name.

According to affidavits sent to Maddox, Leona Warnick told Pennsylvania State Police in October 2000 that her stepbrother obtained the documents in her deceased brother's name.

In Uniontown, Trooper David Bell said he does not know why Smalley uses the name.

"Unless he's been in trouble before," said Bell, who was unaware of previous charges.

Smalley was known at his job at Napa Auto Parts as David "Wes" Warnick, said his boss, Frank Miller.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

"He was the hardest-working, best-natured, honest-to-the-penny person," Miller said. "We can't believe it. I don't think he missed a day of work in two years. He was like the perfect guy."

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