The Upshot

Murder suspect takes road trip

The Upshot

Here's something you don't hear every day: Peggy Sue Thomas, who is currently standing trial in Washington state for murder, has been allowed by a judge to take a two-week road trip so that she can attend the memorial service of her half-sister. During the trip, she also plans to visit her dentist and pick up a few winter clothes.

News of Thomas's five-state jaunt set off a flurry of searches on the Web. In just the past several hours, online lookups for "peggy sue thomas" jumped more than 200 percent. Related lookups on "peggy sue thomas photos" posted similar spikes.

Thomas's lawyer relayed her itinerary to the court. First, she'll drive to Idaho to attend the memorial service. She then plans to fly to Albuquerque, N.M., where she'll see one of her daughters. Following that, she plans to drive to her home in Roswell, N.M., where she'll retrieve photos for court defense.

In addition to that, Thomas wants to winterize her houseboat, see her dentist and look into selling one of her properties to help pay her legal fees.

A buzzy piece on The Huffington Post explains that Thomas was arrested earlier this summer. Authorities believe she and James Huden, her boyfriend, killed a man in 2003. The pair went missing for years, and the case was featured on "America's Most Wanted" several years ago. Huden was arrested last month after authorities found her in Mexico. Like Thomas, he has pleaded not guilty.

Thomas is currently out on $500,000 bail. The court delayed her arraignment so she could take the trip. The prosecutor in the case, Greg Banks, says he has never heard of a court granting a murder defendant the freedom to take such a trip. Banks remarked, "We're sure hoping she comes back."

She probably won't have much of a choice. Thomas, a one-time Miss Washington winner, will be monitored by a GPS device during her trip. However, there may be some moments out in the wilderness when she isn't in satellite range. It would be then, some authorities fear, that she may try to make a break for it.

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