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Nationwide manhunt ends in Tennessee; prison bus escapees chased to ground

Honda carjacked by escaped inmates is found

The search for two Georgia inmates sought in the killing of their guards during an escape from a prison bus went into its third day Thursday and the scope of the manhunt is expanding. Authorities do not know whether Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose ar
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The search for two Georgia inmates sought in the killing of their guards during an escape from a prison bus went into its third day Thursday and the scope of the manhunt is expanding. Authorities do not know whether Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose ar

Authorities say they have captured two escaped inmates wanted in the slayings of two Georgia prison guards.

GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles says 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe and 24-year-old Ricky Dubose were apprehended Thursday in Christiana, Tennessee.

The inmates were being hunted in the killings Tuesday morning of two prison guards who were overpowered, disarmed and shot to death on a prison bus in Putnam County.

Baldwin State Prison transfer sergeants Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue were slain. Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills called the fugitive inmates “dangerous beyond description.”

After their escapee, the fugitives stole first a Honda Civic and then a Ford F-250 pickup truck.

According to CNN, Sills said the truck was ditched in Moore County in Tennessee and the two apparently stole a car, which they drove to a house in Bedford County. They robbed an elderly couple there and stole another vehicle.

That vehicle was spotted by law enforcement officers who chased Rowe and Dubose and captured them after they crashed and ran from the wreck.

Authorities had offered a $130,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.

At 8:06 p.m., a tweet from the office of Gov. Nathan Deal shared the news:

CAPTURED: Fugitives in custody following car chase in TN. More info will be forthcoming.

ESCAPE AND HUNT

Baldwin State Prison inmates were being transferred to another facility when two of them apparently got through a barrier in the transport bus, overpowered the guards and got a gun.

“They brutally shot those officers multiple times,” Sills said.

The other 31 inmates on the bus provided “vital information” in the early stages of the investigation.

The officers were killed onboard the bus that was transporting 33 inmates along Ga. 16 between Sparta and Eatonton just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Sills would not comment on how they broke through the barrier, saying they are focused on capturing the “vicious hoodlums” and will withhold details that could jeopardize prosecution.

Dubose and Rowe hijacked a Honda Civic that was recovered Wednesday afternoon in a wooded area off U.S. 441, not far from a burglary where the men changed out of their prison uniforms and ransacked a house.

They left behind the driver’s cellphone, which could have helped trace their whereabouts.

The dark green car was under a heavy canopy of trees and could not be spotted by air.

“It couldn’t be seen at all,” he said. “I had been within 40 yards of that car and I didn’t even see it.”

An officer on foot found the vehicle as authorities searched a one-mile radius from the house intensely.

Tracking dogs were initially on the trail, but it grew cold.

“They walked nearly nine miles and actually walked in the creek bed,” Sills said.

After the Ford F-250 was reported stolen, authorities viewed surveillance footage from a nearby store that showed them walking by before 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Thirty to 40 minutes later, the camera showed them driving past in the pickup, Sills said.

Telegraph staff writer Liz Fabian contributed to this report.

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