Officers arrested 43-year-old ‘Lifer’ Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose, 24, in the rural community of Christina, Tennessee, ending a multi-state manhunt that kicked off when the pair escaped Baldwin Prison on Tuesday.
The two inmates overpowered guards around 6:45 a.m. Tuesday while they were being driven to another prison with 33 other inmates.
They’re accused of fatally shooting two veteran correctional officers, Sgt. Christopher Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue before they car jacked a driver that happened to pull up behind the bus traveling on Highway 16 in Putnam county.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation told KOMO the fleeing suspects eventually made their way to Tennessee where they held a couple hostage in their home before stealing the home owners’ vehicle.
A subsequent car chase with authorities ended when the suspects crashed the stolen vehicle and fled into the nearby woods, leaving their weapons behind.
They reportedly fired at least once at police before they crashed, but no one was injured in the chase.
Dubose and Rowe made it another six miles before they attempted to steal another vehicle. The owner who had spotted them from inside his home, phoned a neighbor for help and then held the inmates at gunpoint until police arrived.
“True bravery is what’s caused us to stand before you tonight to talk about a successful capture instead of a tragic end,” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn said. “So I’m totally grateful to everyone involved.”
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills offered his condolences to the families of the fallen officers and those who were victim to the escaped inmates.
“I’m sorry the people in Tennessee suffered whatever they suffered,” Sills told the news station. “They weren’t injured but I can assure you that they were traumatized by these hoodlums coming into their home. I’m sorry as I can be and my sympathies to the families and I think you can understand.”
Donnie Rowe, a native of Lewisburg, Tenn., is serving Life Without the Possibility of Parole for aggravated assault and armed robbery in 2002
Ricky Dubose was serving a sentence of up to 20 years for a 2014 armed robbery and aggravated assault in Elbert County, Ga
Sheriff Sills said Dubose and Rowe were inside of the secure area of the bus but did not say how they managed to get through the locked cage to overpower the guards.
Authorities had offered $130,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Gwyn said Thursday he wasn’t sure who would be collecting the money.
Both inmates were serving time for armed robbery and other crimes. Rowe, 43, had been serving life without parole since 2002 and 24-year-old Dubose had been serving a 20-year sentence since 2015. They are expected to be extradited back to Georgia.