Florida's parole board will decide whether a man known as a "prison Houdini" for a series of jail escapes should walk free.

Mark DeFriest was convicted in 1980 of stealing tools that would have been bequeathed to him, had he waited for his father's will to be executed in 1979.

His original four-year sentence spiraled into a virtual life term after a series of escapes and disciplinary issues.

The state's parole commission voted over a year ago to reduce his sentence. DeFriest hoped to be released this year, but the board is reconsidering that decision based on new disciplinary issues.