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With one escape and numerous escape attempts on his record, local and state officials weren’t taking any chances with Joel O’Keefe after his parole violation arrest this week.

Washington County Sheriff Jeff Murphy said O’Keefe was transferred Friday to “state custody” pending a parole violation hearing.

Felons on parole who are accused of parole violations are typically held in county jails while they await parole violation hearings to determine whether they should be sent back to prison.

But in light of O’Keefe’s history, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision took custody of him to hold him in a state facility pending his hearings. He was listed on the agency’s website as a “detainee” Friday with no facility listed.

O’Keefe, 58, was parole in March amid concerns by police over his history of violence. He served more than 23 years in state prison for burglary, a 1994 escape from State Police and was staying in a home in Argyle before his parole violation arrest this week.

But he has also long been a “person of interest” in connection with an unsolved 1988 double homicide in Hartford, though he was never charged and has denied involvement.

O’Keefe has not been charged with any new crimes, but had been soliciting women for relationships at businesses around the region, resulting in numerous complaints to police, and had not notified his parole officer of his activities.

He is on parole until 2023, and could be made to serve the rest of that time period in prison. He could also be re-released with new conditions of parole, according to DOCCS.

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Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on

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