Inmate Guilty of Killing 2 Guards on Prison Bus

Jurors will decide whether Georgia inmate Ricky Dubose gets death penalty
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 14, 2022 2:45 PM CDT
Inmate Guilty of Killing 2 Guards During Escape
In this June 21, 2017 photo, Ricky Dubose, left, and Donnie Russell Rowe enter the Putnam County courthouse in Eatonton, Ga.   (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, Pool, File)

A Georgia prisoner has been found guilty of murder in the killings of two guards during an escape from a prison bus five years ago. A jury deliberated about 90 minutes Monday evening before convicting Ricky Dubose in the June 2017 shooting deaths of Sgt. Christopher Monica and Sgt. Curtis Billue. Now jurors will have to decide whether he should be sentenced to die for the killings or should spend the rest of his life in prison. Gabrielle Amber Pittman, an attorney for Dubose, told jurors during opening statements that Dubose was guilty, but she asked them to find him guilty and intellectually disabled, which would have made him ineligible for the death penalty, the AP reports

Dubose and Donnie Rowe escaped together from the bus in Putnam County, southeast of Atlanta, and were arrested in Tennessee days later. Rowe was convicted last year of murder in the guards’ deaths. A judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole after jurors could not agree on whether he should be sentenced to death. Dubose was accused of firing the gun that killed the officers after he and Rowe slipped out of handcuffs and burst through an unlocked gate at the front of the bus.

Prosecutors say Dubose grabbed one of the officers’ weapons and shot Monica, the guard, and then Billue, the driver, both in the head. Security cameras on the bus recorded the violent escape and roughly 30 other prisoners witnessed the killings. Dubose, 29, was serving a 20-year sentence for a 2015 armed robbery and assault in Elbert County when he escaped.

(More Georgia stories.)

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