Escaped Georgia inmates captured in Tennessee after chase

Authorities said Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose were captured Thursday in Tennessee after leading police on a chase by auto and by foot.

The wreck followed a chase in which the escapees fired on Rutherford County deputies.

Rowe was serving life without parole when he and Ricky Dubose somehow escaped from a prison truck cage, killed two guards and fled with their pistols early Tuesday.

(Georgia Department of Corrections via AP).

For almost three days, Morgan County was the headquarters for one of the largest manhunts in state history as law enforcement officers nationwide looked for two Georgia prison inmates who killed two correctional officers in their violent escape Tuesday.

TBI Director Mark Gwyn said it was the bravery and cooperation of multiple law enforcement agencies that led to the capture of the escapees and that some people in Georgia were probably breathing a sigh of relief tonight.

A Georgia sheriff says it's too early to tell when two inmates accused in the killings of two guards on a prison bus will be returned to the state after their capture in Tennessee.

The fugitives — 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe and 24-year-old Ricky Dubose — are believed to have stolen a white Ford F250 pickup truck with the Georgia tag BCX-5372 around midnight Tuesday in Madison, Georgia.

"It happened the way we thought it would", Keenan said. "So I'm totally grateful to everyone involved". The inmates took the couples' Jeep and left, but after about 15 minutes, the man freed himself and called the sheriff's office, Swing said.

The prisoners breached a protective gate on the bus to reach the officers at the front of the bus, before disarming and killing them both, the sheriff's office said. The chase of the two suspects soon came to an end when the vehicle they had carjacked crashed, causing them to flee into the woods.

In the span of three hours, the inmates ate a "beef stew like" soup and took shoes, clothing as well as jewelry from the house, Swing said.

The two were being held at the Rutherford County jail.

Authorities say they began to pursue the suspects unknowingly while responding to an armed robbery call.

"Earlier tonight, with the assistance of our law enforcement partners in Tennessee, risky fugitives were captured and taken into custody", Deal said in the press release.

"We will do everything in our power to support their loved ones, and we will not forget their sacrifice and service", Deal said.

"This is a great day in Tennessee", Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Lt. Bill Miller said in a press conference.

The corrections officers killed have been identified as 42-year-old Christopher Monica and 58-year-old Curtis Billue.

They took off with the Honda driver's phone, leaving 31 other inmates locked in the bus with the two dead guards, and were gone by the time help arrived.

There the two apparently stole a vehicle, which they covered with grass and branches when they ditched it along a state highway in Bedford County, authorities said.

A new lookout on the Jeep was posted and deputies spotted the auto on Interstate 24 West, about 50 miles southeast of Nashville. By then, the trail had gone cold.

  • Larry Hoffman