DANBURY - A Danbury Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that a man who spent almost 50 years as a fugitive before being found in Connecticut is allowed to stay in the state as a parolee.

Robert Stackowitz escaped from a prison in Carrollton, Georgia, in 1968. He was the getaway driver in an armed robbery. Since then, Stackowitz lived a quiet life in tiny Sherman, located on the northern tip of Fairfield County. There, he would fix boats for a living and even ate lunch next to a state police office.

Authorities caught up with him in May when he applied for Social Security under his real name.

The judge said Tuesday that Stackowitz is too sick to be extradited to Georgia, and his lawyer, Kevin Smith, said he was so sick that he could not even appear in court. The lawyer added that sending Stackowitz back would have amounted to a death sentence.

Stackowitz is dying of cancer and can barely walk, according to Smith, and will have to submit to a medical exam every year. If his condition improves, Georgia could try once again to send him back there to face charges.