Ricky Dubose trial: Georgia inmate sentenced to death for murdering prison guards during 2017 escape 

Georgia prison, Ricky Dubose (front) was condemned to a death sentence for the killing of two prisoners guards. (Image via Facebook/CHRDZ)
Georgia prison, Ricky Dubose (front) was condemned to a death sentence for the killing of two prisoners guards. (Image via Facebook/CHRDZ)

On Thursday, a Georgia prisoner, who shot and killed two corrections officers during a 2017 escape, learned that he was sentenced to death.

Ricky Dubose was found guilty on Monday of felony and malice murder in the shooting deaths of prison guards Curtis Billue and Christopher Monica on a Putnam County transport bus.

After the deaths, he and fellow prisoner Donnie Russell Rowe escaped the bus, sparking a multi-state manhunt that culminated with the two being apprehended in Tennessee.


Dubose's Georgia trial had the jurors confused about sentencing

Due to public outcry over the guards' deaths, a jury was summoned from Glynn County's coast for the trial. Dubose’s co-defendant Rowe also faced capital punishment, however, the Putnam jury was unable to make a unanimous decision during his sentencing. He managed to receive the term of life without parole last year.

Reports suggest that the attorneys for Ricky Dubose accepted the guilty verdict but appealed to the jury to spare their client the death penalty. Several witnesses testified for the defense, arguing that Dubose's life should be spared.

A news outlet reported that the spat between Defense Attorney Gabrielle Pittman and District Attorney T.Wright Barksdale took place before the announcement of capital punishment of Ricky Dubose.

Attorney Gabrielle Pittman urged the jurors to choose justice over vengeance, arguing that execution wasn't the only option for her client's sentence.

Pittman said,

“Ricky Dubose is guilty and he’s intellectually disabled. Ricky Dubose is guilty and he’s mentally ill. He is not the mastermind.”

She added,

“Ricky did shoot at people. But you know who was driving, you know who put the gun in his hands, you know who told him to hang out the window and shoot? That was Donnie.”

However, prosecutor Barksdale advised the jury not to be deceived by Dubose's charms. He said at the trial:

“What you’re going to be left with is an intelligent, calculated criminal motivated by his desire to escape the Georgia chain gang."


Ricky Dubose escaped from the scene after the fatal shootings on June 3, 2017

While fleeing from a prison transfer bus southeast of Atlanta on June 13, 2017, Ricky Allen Dubose and Donnie Russell Rowe used one of the guards' guns to shoot them.

According to the Macon Telegraph, inmates Dubose and Rowe were able to break free from their shackles through the unlocked metal gate on a prison transport bus. Officers Curtis Billue and Christopher Monica were killed when Dubose snatched one of the officers' firearms. Dubose and the co-defendant killed both officials in the head. They were apprehended by authorities in Tennessee.

Ricky informed detectives in a taped interview that the attack was not planned and that the other escapee did not want to harm anyone.

He said:

“It’s just something that happened spur of the moment.”

After mugging the driver of a green Honda that had pulled up alongside the idling bus, the two men fled the scene.

They were captured in Tennessee days later after leading police on a 10-mile car pursuit that culminated in an accident and gunshots, but no one was harmed. Authorities stated they then escaped into the woods and ended up in a nearby homeowner's yard.

Edited by Suchitra