By Kevin Murphy
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - The daughter-in-law who turned in captured British fugitive Edward Maher is trying to claim $158,000 in reward money offered 19 years ago when Maher allegedly stole $1.6 million from an armored van.
Jessica King turned Maher in to authorities in southwest Missouri this month, according to her lawyer Brandon Potter of Springfield, Missouri. She hired Potter to help her get a reward offered by the British firm Securicor, which owned the van held up in Felixstowe, England, Potter said.
Maher, 56, is being held on a charge of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. He awaits possible extradition to the United Kingdom in the 1993 robber case.
Maher, dubbed "Fast Eddie" in British media after his disappearance, told the FBI he had been using the name of his brother, Michael Maher, and went to the U.S. in 1998 because he was wanted for a crime in the UK.
King recently learned from her husband, Lee King, about Maher's background, Potter said. Maher later confronted her, saying "I know that you know" and threatened to kill her if she said anything, Potter said.
But she went to police in Ozark, Mo., leading to Maher's arrest.
"When you look at it from a legal standpoint, it was the right thing to do," Potter said on Monday. "He was on the run."
Jessica King is in the process of divorcing her husband, whom she married in October, Potter said.
Potter said there were possible conditions attached to the reward, such as that Maher be convicted and that the cash be returned. But he said there are common law precedents dating back to the 1800s that should help King claim rights to the reward.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Bohan)