AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — The longest escaped inmate in recent Texas history is settling back into a state prison after being extradited from Mexico last year.

Jose Salaz was on the run for 16 years after escaping from a Beeville prison where he was serving time for holding a bar owner for ransom and shooting a Houston police officer.

In his first interview since his recapture, Salaz tells The Associated Press he doesn't regret his escape because he needed to provide for his wife and children. He says he sold corn on street corners and worked in construction and in a tire shop.

Authorities say they were close to apprehending Salaz several times, but were not successful until 2013.

Salaz is in a prison near Amarillo and is up for parole in 2028.