Captured inmates appear in Tenn. court

Authorities in Tennessee discussed the circumstances leading to the capture Thursday evening of two Georgia prison escapees accused of killing two corrections officers. The arrests of Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe comes after a three-day massive manhunt.

RUTHERFOR COUNTY, Tenn. -- Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose made their first court appearance Friday in Tennessee, after being captured Thursday night, following a three-day massive manhunt.

Rowe shuffled into court, donning an orange jumpsuit, his hands cuffed together. He waived his right to extradition. The judge explained to him that he has a fugitive warrant and other warrants out of Tennessee, but that Georgia will pick him up and return him to Tennessee on those charges. 

He answers the judge simply with, "Yes, mam." 

It's a sobering morning for Rowe and Dubose who were captured after escaping a department of corrections bus and allegedly killing two officers.

It was a moment the southeast had been waiting for, including several law enforcement officials across several state.

The heavily tattooed Rowe and Dubose were shirtless on the ground, laying on their stomachs, hands cuffed behind their backs and staring up at more than a dozen law enforcement members. 

That's how an intense manhunt that spanned three days, and stretched across the nation, ended.

On a Tennessee highway, more than 270 miles away from where their escape began, is where authorities caught the men, who they say killed two of their own.

Photos of Dubose and Rowe had been shared hundreds of thousands of times across social media since early Tuesday morning, when authorities say the inmates overpowered and killed two corrections officers on a prison transport bus, filled with more than 30 other inmates, near Eatonton, Ga. 

The two carjacked a passerby and disappeared down the road.

Over the next few days, there were several reported sightings, from a Family Dollar store in Madison, Ga., (that was later confirmed to be true) to a rest stop in South Carolina (that turned out not to be them), but no concrete idea of where they were -- or where they might be headed. 

Until Thursday.

TIMELINE | Manhunt for escaped Georgia inmates

Around noon, Bedford County Sheriff Austin Swing said an abandoned car was found on a highway that appeared to be covered up with branches. 

Around 2:30 p.m., Dubose and Rowe broke into a home in Shelbyville, Tenn., and tied up a man and woman. For several hours, the suspects threatened the couple, while eating their food and stealing their clothes and valuables.

The men originally planned to have the woman drive them somewhere in her car, but when she got in, the vehicle wouldn't start. 

At that point, the fugitives left in the couple's other vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, Swing said.

Within minutes, the couple called police. 

Authorities caught up with the Cherokee on Interstate 24 near the Bedford County/Rutherford County line, about 10 miles south of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

A 10-mile pursuit ensued, during which shots were fired. Vehicles were hit, but no people were injured. Finally, the Cherokee crashed,and the fugitive men left the vehicle and a foot chase commenced.

The suspects ran to a house and tried to break inside. The homeowner came out and held the suspects at gunpoint until authorities arrived. 

And like that, the manhunt that had brought fear, uncertainty and tension to the state of Georgia was over.

A photo of the two suspects after their capture was quickly shared by law enforcement and news agencies across the country Thursday night.

AERIAL FOOTAGE | Georgia fugitives caught in Tennessee

It showed the two men tattooed and tired, but alive--which may have caught them by surprise. Earlier, they told their hostages that "they'd be dead in 24 hours." 

They will be transported back to Putnam County.

 

Phillip Kish and Jessica Noll, WXIA


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