McAfee lands in Miami after Guatemala deports him

8:56 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
Image released by Guatemala's National Police on Dec. 5, 2012 shows John McAfee after his arrest / AP Photo/Guatemala's National Police
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Software anti-virus pioneer John McAfee was deported from Guatemala on Wednesday afternoon and arrived in Miami hours later.

McAfee, who is wanted in Belize for questioning about the murder of an American neighbor, arrived on an American Airlines flight shortly before 7 p.m. ET, the Associated Press reported. He left Guatemala about 3:40 p.m.

Miami International Airport spokesman Greg Chin said that federal authorities would escort the 67-year-old McAfee after he cleared customs, AP said. There was no immediate word on where he would be taken or was headed.

He traveled without his 20-year-old girlfriend, Samantha Vanega, who fled Belize with him.

Posting to his on-the-run blog before take-off, he wrote that they had been "forcibly separated" and that she and a woman named Amy "are coming as per sam's request."

He wrote that Amy "fears for her life in Belize," and promised more information from Miami.

Before leaving Guatemala he told Reuters he was flying to Miami because it "was the only option I had. I can't take a flight that stops in any other country and there are only two flights going to America today."

"I'm happy to be going home," McAfee, dressed in a black suit, told reporters at the airport. "I've been running through jungles and rivers and oceans and I think I need to rest for a while. And I've been in jail for seven days."

McAfee and Vanega turned up in Guatemala - accompanied by the editor of Vice Magazine and a videographer -- after a month on the run in Belize. He asked for political asylum but was instead arrested for entering the country illegally, and Guatemalan immigration officials prepared to deport him to Belize.

Last Thursday, a day after he was denied asylum, McAfee was taken to a police hospital suffering from stress and hypertension.

Monday, a judge ordered him released.

Belizean police still want to talk to McAfee about the Nov. 10 slaying of Gregory Faull, who was shot in the back of the head in his home on the island of Ambergris Caye. Faull had complained about McAfee's barking dogs, four of which were found poisoned the day before his slaying.

"He is still a person of interest, but a U.S. national has been killed and he has been somewhat implicated in that murder," police spokesman Raphael Martinez told Reuters. "People want him to answer some questions.

"We have good relations with the United States of America and I am sure that we will get to the bottom of it," he added.

McAfee went into hiding, denying any involvement in Faull's murder. He has claimed police want to frame or kill him because he refused to pay $2 million in bribes to Belize's ruling party.

Police and politicians deny the allegations, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow questioned McAfee's mental state.

"I don't want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid. I would go so far as to say bonkers," Barrow said days after the murder. "He ought to man up and respect our laws and go in and talk to the police."

McAfee was looking forward to returning to the United States and said he had signed a film, TV and book deal for his life story.

Speaking Sunday night by Internet video stream from Guatemala, he said he wanted to return and "settle down to whatever normal life" possible.

"I simply would like to live comfortably day by day, fish, swim, enjoy my declining years," McAfee said.

 

Michael Winter, USA TODAY

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