National News

Sheriff says reward leading to capture of escaped inmates will be paid

Posted June 19

— Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says someone will get at least some of the $130,000 reward for information that led to the capture of two escaped inmates accused of fatally shooting two corrections officers.

Ricky DuBose and Donnie Rowe are still in a Nashville area jail awaiting extradition back to Georgia after three days on the run. Both are facing a number of charges, including murder.

Sills says the pair will return to Georgia soon. He says the duo faces several charges.

"They violated the law when they took they're handcuffs off. They violated the law when they opened that door, they violated the law when they assaulted these officers, and they damn sure violated the law when they murdered them," said Sills.

The initial incident happened June 13 on Highway 16 between Eatonton and Sparta, about 80 miles east of Atlanta. Authorities said the inmates were being transported when they overpowered the two officers, one of whom was driving the transport bus. They disarmed one of the officers and fatally shot both, officials said.

Both suspects then carjacked a Honda Civic and fled the scene.

Sills says he has no idea how the inmates were able to free themselves before fatally shooting both officers.

"I can't tell you that they were obviously not wearing handcuffs. They obviously went through a door that should've been secured, and overpowered and took they're guns. I don't know why the door wasn't locked, I don't know if they picked the door."

The pair were eventually caught in Tennessee after they attempted to steal a vehicle from a home in the area. The homeowner heard a noise outside the home and came out and caught the escapees, then called the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office.

Rowe, a repeat offender currently serving life without parole, was imprisoned after being convicted on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault. DuBose was imprisoned after being found guilty of armed robbery, aggravated assault, credit card fraud and theft by taking.

The corrections officers killed have been identified as 42 year-old Christopher Monica and 58 year-old Curtis Billue. Monica had worked for the facility for nearly eight years after being hired in October of 2009. Billue was nearing his 10th anniversary with the facility after being hired in July of 2007.

Meanwhile, Sills won't say when DuBose and Rowe will be transported back to Georgia.

"I will not announce when we're going to transport these prisoners for security reasons," said Sills.

Reward money will be paid

Initially, Sills said during a Thursday news conference that the reward money wouldn't be paid out because information provided by Tennessee authorities said the inmates had surrendered to law enforcement. They are prohibited from receiving awards.

Sills now says the reward offered now will be paid out. He's not sure at this time who will receive the money.

Now that the inmates are in custody, the work has just begun.

"Obviously we got to get the prisoners here. Obviously, we're going to have a court appearance but now we got to gather evidence that strung about two states. We got to go back and interview people. Various people in two different states again. Gather that evidence and get it all simulated and get it ready for a trial."


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