The Miami Herald
December 29, 1978

Kidnaper Sentenced To 15-Year Term

Bu Susan Sachs
Herald Staff Writer
    Clifford McRary, convicted last month of kidnaping a Key West charter boat captain and forcing him to go to Cuba, Thursday was sentenced to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Judge William Mehrtens of Miami.
    The maximum sentence for the crime is life imprisonment.
    Thomas Sherouse, McRary's attorney, said after the sentencing he would file an appeal of the conviction.  He argued during the jury trial in Key West that the 38-year-old Omaha man was insane at the time of the 1974 incident.
    MCRARY probably will remain in the federal penitentiary in Perrine in South Dade County, where he has been since the conviction, until authorities reassign him to another prison.
    At the trial, witnesses testified McRary, depressed and upset, left Omaha with his wife and two children after a business scheme failed.  He chartered the fishing boat Spook out of Key West for a trip to the Dry Tortugas.
    Several hours out of the city, he and his wife handcuffed the charter captain to the wheel and at gunpoint forced him to pilot the boat to Cuba.  The family spent several months in a Cuban prison, then was released and lived for four years in that country before returning to Miami.
    MRS. MCRARY, also charged with kidnaping, was found incompetent to stand trial with her husband.
    In his appeal, Sherouse said, he will argue Mrs. McRary should have been allowed to testify as a defense witness.