Georgia escapees who killed guards caught in Tennessee

Law enforcement officers were stationed along local Interstate 85 exits on Thursday after reports that two escaped inmates sought in the killing of guards in Georgia could possibly be traveling the road in this direction, although there was no solid evidence to confirm that suspicion, authorities said.

The two men escaped about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday after they overpowered and disarmed the guards on a bus transporting 33 inmates, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said.

Sills said the Honda Civic they carjacked at the killing scene was hidden in some woods, and they walked to the quarry from there.

Putnam County, Georgia, Sheriff Howard Sills said earlier today the public was in "grave danger" and that authorities did not know where the risky inmates were.

"They murdered two correctional officers", said Sills.

The head of Georgia's Department of Correction, Greg Dozier, declined to talk about how the prisoners where capable of overtaking the armed guards on Thursday. If anyone spots or comes across, they need to dial 911 as soon as possible, the Sheriff added.

The corrections department identified the victims as Christopher Monica, 42, who began working there in 2009, and Curtis Billue, 58, who would have marked his 10th anniversary with the department next month.

Sills praised the law enforcement response as "the greatest effort I've ever seen".

Both officers at Baldwin State Prison.

Georgia State Patrol Col. Mark McDonough said a ranger with the Department of Natural Resources, which shares the radio channel with GSP, heard the transmissions about the shooting and the carjacking victim and tied the two together.

Investigators have already examined more than 100 leads ranging from Texas to Virginia, Sills said. It is unclear at this time whether specifically Rowe or Dubose shot and killed the two correctional officers. Police say they then stole a white pickup truck from an industrial site in the area described as a 2008 Ford truck with Georgia tag BCX5372. The other 31 inmates were left handcuffed inside the transport with the engine running.

Rowe, a repeat offender now serving life without parole, was imprisoned after being convicted on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault. The rear of the vehicle was equipped with a caged area where a inmates were secured, with the guards in a separate compartment at the front.

"We're trying to get this bus unloaded", Massee said.

  • Annette Adams